Contraceptive Implant

The contraceptive implant (Nexplanon) is a small flexible plastic rod that’s placed under the skin in your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.

It releases the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream to prevent pregnancy and lasts for 3 years.

At a glance:

  • The implant is more than 99% effective.
  • Once the implant is in place, you don’t have to think about it again for 3 years.
  • It can be useful for women who can’t use contraception that contains oestrogen.
  • It’s very useful for women who find it difficult to remember to take a pill at the same time every day.
  • The implant can be taken out if you have side effects.
  • You can have it removed at any time, and your natural fertility will return very quickly.
  • When it’s first put in, you may feel some bruising, tenderness or swelling around the implant.
  • Your periods may become irregular, lighter, heavier or longer.
  • A common side effect is that your periods stop (amenorrhoea). It’s not harmful, but you may want to consider this before deciding to have an implant.
  • Some medicines can make the implant less effective.
  • It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so you may need to use condoms as well.

How it works

The implant steadily releases the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream, which prevents the release of an egg each month (ovulation).

It also thickens the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to move through the cervix, and thins the lining of the womb so a fertilised egg is less likely to implant itself.

When it starts to work

You can have the implant put in at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you’re not pregnant.

If the implant is fitted during the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle, you’ll be immediately protected against becoming pregnant.

If it’s fitted on any other day of your menstrual cycle, you’ll need to use additional contraception (such as condoms) for 7 days.

Book an initial telephone consultation to see if the implant is right for you with our GP enhanced skills in Gynaecology Dr Marie-Louise Thornton – £100

Implant Insertion – £250 to include supply of implant. If patient has already received implant through an NHS prescription £115 will be deducted from the price.

Implant Removal – £175

Implant Replacement – £375 to include supply of implant.

Doctor sitting talking to child patient with Holywood Private Clinic sign



Dr Thornton has a passion for Women’s health and well being and works as an NHS GP, in an NHS GP Gynaecology service and with us in her dedicated menopause clinic. Dr Thornton has over 20 years experience. She is a member of the British Menopause Society, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health and the British Society of Lifestyle medicine. Dr Thornton was a keynote speaker at Northern Ireland’s first menopause conference in Nov 2022 and does regular educational talks on all aspects of the menopause. Dr Thornton will offer a comprehensive and holistic approach to any issue you have in relation to the perimenopause or menopause.

Dr Marie-Louise Thornton

Dr Marie-Louise Thornton