The Pros & Cons of the Contraceptive Implant


Safe sex, whether with a long-term partner or a new encounter, necessitates a vital first step—understanding your options for contraceptives. Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of the contraceptive implant.

woman holding arm

Whether it's because a pregnancy is not in the plans, or because you are seeing a new or more casual partner, the first step to engaging in safe sex is to understand the contraceptive options that are available to you. There are more choices out there today than ever before, making it easier to find a means of contraception that suits your body, needs, and lifestyle. 

Here, we’re taking a closer look at the contraceptive implant (Nexplanon), a small flexible plastic rod, about the size of a matchstick, that's placed under the skin in your upper arm by a doctor or nurse. It releases progestin in your bloodstream, preventing ovulation each month. It also thickens the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the uterus. 

Like every contraceptive, it offers both pros and cons, so it's about finding the right option based on your body, requirements, and lifestyle. 

The Pros of the Contraceptive Implant

  • It's more than 99% effective. 
  • It can stay in place for 3 years, meaning you don't have to remember to use or take it like you would a condom or the pill. 
  • It's easily removable if you want to get pregnant and your natural fertility will return quickly thereafter. 
  • It doesn't interrupt sex.
  • It's safe to use while breastfeeding. 
  • It may reduce heavy periods or period pain.
  • It can be useful for women who can't use contraception that contains estrogen.

The Cons of the Contraceptive Implant

  • It can impact your periods, making them irregular, lighter, heavier, or longer. 
  • A common side effect is that your period can stop completely while the implant is in place. This is called amenorrhea. 
  • Some medicines, including certain antibiotics, can make it less effective, so make sure to discuss any medications you're taking with your gynecologist. 
  • It could cause you to get acne or for your existing acne to worsen.
  • Temporary side effects during the first few months can include headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, weight gain, and mood swings.
  •  It does not necessarily offer immediate protection. If it's fitted anytime after the first five days of your cycle, you'll need to use additional contraception (such as condoms) for one week. 
  • It doesn't protect against STIs. 
  • Almost 15% of women using the implant complained of vaginal dryness.


If you’re not looking to get pregnant, a contraceptive method is always better than none. It’s just about finding the one that works for you, your lifestyle, and your body. Whether and how you choose to use contraception, the decision is yours to make. Mauj is here to share as much information as possible to help you make that choice, but we also advise that you consult your medical doctor to discuss your options.  

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from 

NHS. (n.d.). NHS choices. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from 

Parenthood, P. (n.d.). Official site. Planned Parenthood. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from

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