What is the birth control implant?
The birth control implant is a small rod about the size of a matchstick which is implanted under your skin to release hormones into your body that prevent you from getting pregnant. It works for up to 5 years after implantation.
How is it implanted?
The device is implanted by a doctor under the skin, usually in your upper arm.
How does it work?
The birth control implant releases the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy in two ways:
- Progestin thickens the mucus on your cervix, which prevents the sperm from swimming through to your egg. When sperm can’t meet up with an egg, pregnancy can’t happen.
- Progestin can also stop eggs from leaving your ovaries (ovulation), so there’s no egg to fertilize. When eggs aren’t released, you can’t get pregnant.
How long does it last?
The birth control implant can last for up to 5 years. After that time it may become less effective and should be replaced if you want to continue having effective contraception.
What if I want to get pregnant?
If you decide you want to get pregnant or you just don’t want to have your implant anymore, your doctor can take it out. Taking out the implant prevents the implant's hormones from being effective.
When can I get pregnant after the implant removal?
As soon as the implant is taken out, it is safe to get pregnant because the hormone will no longer be affecting ovulation or the uterine lining. It may take several months for ovulation to return back to normal, though in some women it resumes quicker.
Learn more about other birth control methods in our Birth Control Guide!