A contraceptive implant is a hormonal contraception containing a progestogen (etonogestrel). The implant is a small bar shorter than a match. It is placed in the skin in the arm (under local anaesthesia), and cannot be seen. It regularly releases a progestogen identical to the progestogen contained in some pills. It acts by blocking ovulation, making the inner wall of the uterus unsuitable for nidation and by thickening the cervical mucus which interferes with spermatozoa passing through.
If you do not have any contraindications, the implant can be prescribed by your doctor and purchased in the pharmacy. The doctor positions the progestogen implant beneath the skin on the internal surface of an arm (the left if you are right handed), using an applicator, a few centimetres above the elbow after administering local anaesthesia. A check up visit is recommended a few months after it has been implanted.
The progestogen implant has a number of advantages. It is not possible to forget (it is effective for 3 years once implanted) which is very effective and action is reversed rapidly when it is removed. It does, however, have a few side effects which you should be informed about: irregular periods, no periods, or occasionally heavy bleeding between periods. It is reimbursed by the French Health Insurance System.
The progestogen implant does not protect against sexually transmittable infections or HIV infection.