Implanon Side Effects


Implanon is a hormonal method of birth control that is about the size of a matchstick and inserted in a woman’s upper arm. It lasts for three years and fertility returns after it is removed. Implanon works by releasing the hormone progestin into the woman’s body which prevents ovulation.

Implanon has been found to be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and is a convenient method of birth control for women who are looking for something long term but have a lifestyle that does not support taking a pill everyday or a shot every 12 weeks.

Like any hormonal method of birth control, Implanon has been shown to have side effects in some of the women who use it. The most common side effect is irregular bleeding. Irregular bleeding is most common in the first six to twelve months after insertion. Irregular bleeding with Implanon can take many forms. Periods can become heavier or lighter. Some women have longer periods some women have shorter periods. Spotting between periods can also occur.

1 out of 3 women who use Implanon as their method of birth control stop getting a period completely within 1 year of use. The irregular bleeding is considered a minor side effect of Implanon as are these less common side effects:

  • • Nausea
  • • Headaches
  • • Breast tenderness/soreness
  • • Changes in sex drive
  • • Pain or discoloration at insertion site.

It is rare that women experience any serious side effects with Implanon, however, a woman should contact her health care provider immediately if she experiences any of the following after the Implanon insertion:

  • • Pus, redness, bleeding or increased pain at the insertions site. These are signs of a possible infection.
  • • Heavy vaginal bleeding that does not go away
  • • Breast lump that has not been there before
  • • The implant comes out or cannot be felt under the skin
  • • Menses suddenly stops after regular menses with Impanon use.

Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should not have Implanon inserted. Women who smoke, have a history of blood clots, liver disease or breast cancer are not considered good candidates for Implanon.


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