Implanon and how it affects you

Implanon is a hormonal contraceptive implant into the upper arm, lasting for several years.

It can affect your body in a huge number of ways, like all hormonal birth control can, from changing your mood, weight and skin, as examples. Implanon works very well for many women, causing no side effects. If you are sensitive to hormonal contraception, it might be wiser to try other options, as this is a long-term hormonal implant.

It is advisable to carefully consider all of your options before opting for the Implanon.

Contains: 68mg etonogestrel (progestin-only)


  • You don’t have to worry about your birth control for up to three years
  • If it isn’t working for you, you can always take it out and the effects will go away shortly after
  • It protects you against unwanted pregnancy and is very effective at this function
  • You can breastfeed with Implanon in
  • You can get Implanon in after a miscarriage or abortion


  • Hormonal birth control always comes with risks, as you are interrupting the natural function of hormones in your body (think bone density, bacterial flora, mood)
  • Hormones in birth control are synthetic, with each variant of hormone, by manufacturer, slightly molecularly different (which is why some brands of birth control work better for some people)
  • The implant leaves a small scar, and carries a small risk of infection with it, as with all skin breakages
  • Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • These hormones affect the way your body metabolises carbohydrates and fats, making diabetes and pre-diabetic states something to be aware of, as well as the way your body stores fat (in a nutshell, it can make you fat)

Side effects

Everyone reacts to medication differently, and Implanon is no different, but there are patterns to the impact of this drug on your system. It is having an effect on your body, but sometimes this is more outwardly obvious – besides not getting pregnant – in some people. Carefully monitor how you feel, your skin and weight after Implanon is implanted to make sure you are not going to suffer from it.

Changes to bleeding cycles are likely to occur, so you may stop getting periods, or may bleed infrequently or sporadically, or conversely bleed more often and more heavily. It is unlikely that you will keep your regular cycle.

In all studies, the adverse reactions to Implanon were:

  1. Headache 24.9%
  2. Vaginitis 14.5%
  3. Weight increase 13.7%
  4. Acne 13.5%
  5. Breast pain 12.8%
  6. Abdominal pain 10.9%
  7. Pharyngitis (sore throat) 10.5%
  8. Leukorrhea (discharge) 9.6%
  9. Influenza-like symptoms 7.6%
  10. Dizziness 7.2%
  11. Dysmenorrhea 7.2%
  12. Back pain 6.8%
  13. Emotional lability (instability) 6.5%
  14. Nausea 6.4%
  15. Pain 5.6%
  16. Nervousness 5.6%
  17. Depression 5.5%
  18. Hypersensitivity 5.4%
  19. Insertion site pain 5.2%

When Implanon is a bad idea

  • If you are sensitive to hormonal birth control, other options might suit you better (IUD, condoms, diaphragm)
  • Check that you are not pregnant before getting Implanon implanted
  • If you have a history of thrombosis or related disorders, hormonal birth control may not be the best option
  • If you have liver-related problems, you can’t have Implanon in, because hormones are excreted via the liver and bowel
  • If you have abnormal genital bleeding of no known cause
  • Any history of progestin-sensitive cancers
  • Allergy to the ingredients
  • In people with out-of-control high blood pressure
  • If you are concerned about weight changes, hormonal birth control may not be the best option
  • If you are very overweight, the implant can stop working as well over time

Manufacturers Safety Guide

Practitioner’s Guide to Implanon