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The implant - all your questions answered

Sunday, January 17, 2021

National News

You’ve heard all the myths – You’ve been probably told about your neighbour’s daughter-in-law’s sister’s mother who had an IUD that travelled to their lungs and killed them, or that Uncle’s daughter’s third cousin had a Jadelle implant that picked up a radio frequency and started controlling her mind. The reality is far more boring - but far more life changing. 

The implant available in New Zealand is made up of two small rods the size of a matchstick. The rods are put under the skin in the inside of your arm. They slowly release a hormone called progestogen. They work for up to five years. The implant or “the rods” are a type of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC).

Once an implant is in – you can’t take it out

An implant works for five years. You can take it out any time. It’s entirely up to you.

The implant will impact your fertility long-term

Not true. You will be able to get pregnant as soon as The Implant is taken out. The Implant is reversible – you can choose to have it taken out at any time. After that, you will be able to get pregnant again.

You’ll get sick, have mood swings, gain weight and you’ll have no sex drive

Studies show that implants do not cause any change in your weight, mood, sex drive, or give you headaches.

Your periods will stop

It depends – Some people have irregular periods or periods that last longer. This is quite common in the first six months but it can last as long as you use the implant. This can be annoying, but it’s not harmful and the implant will still work. If the bleeding is a problem, you can get pills to help.

It hurts and you will be left with a scar!

You might have a sore or bruised arm after the implant is put in or taken out. There is a small risk of infection. An injection is used to numb part of your arm, so you don’t feel anything when the implant is put in. The rods are put under the skin and special plasters are used to hold the skin together until the skin heals. The implant is taken out in the same way. It will leave a small scar. The implant is two rods that go in your arm

Choosing contraception is a personal decision, but The Implant is one of the most effective forms of contraception available. It works well for several years and having it put in and taken out is usually very simple. It is an excellent contraceptive option that is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. It is suitable for most people no matter their age. 

Your decision to get an Implant should be based on facts– your local Family Planning nurse is happy to talk to you about your options. Just get in touch.


Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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