Contraception guide

Where can I get a contraceptive implant fitted or removed?

You can get a contraceptive implant fitted or removed:

  • at a contraception or sexual health (GUM) clinic
  • by a GP or practice nurse

Only a specially trained doctor or nurse can fit or remove contraceptive implants.

Contraceptive implants are available for free on the NHS.

Fitting and removing your contraceptive implant

A contraceptive implant is a thin, flexible tube about 4cm long and 2mm thick. It’s inserted under your skin on the inside of your upper arm. You won’t need any stitches after your implant has been fitted.

To numb the area, your doctor or nurse will give you a local anaesthetic injection before your implant is fitted or removed.

Your contraceptive implant will work for up to three years before it needs to be replaced. You can have it removed earlier than this if you no longer want it.

Replacing your contraceptive implant

If you want to continue using a contraceptive implant after three years, you can get the old one removed and a new one put in at the same visit.

Nexplanon and Implanon

Implants fitted after October 2010 are called Nexplanon. Implants fitted before this are called Implanon. They work in the same way, but Nexplanon is designed to reduce the risk of insertion errors and is visible on an X-ray or CT scan. There is no need for existing Implanon users to have their implant removed and replaced by Nexplanon ahead of its scheduled replacement time.

Read more about the contraceptive implant.


Page last reviewed: 29/01/2015

Next review due: 30/01/2018


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