Implanon - contraceptive sticks

This contraceptive is a thin, soft plastic rod that is inserted as an implant on the inside of the upper arm just under the skin. The Implanon is smaller than a matchstick - 4 cm long, 2 mm thick. The active ingredient etonogestrel, a Luteal hormone, is embedded in the plastic of the rod and is released evenly in small quantities.

Mode of action: The corpus luteum hormone (progestin) suppresses monthly ovulation and changes the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to penetrate the uterus. Sperm cells can only overcome this barrier in isolated cases. In addition, the hormone causes a remodelling of the uterine mucosa and thus makes it more difficult for a fertilised egg to implant.


Insertion: The contraceptive stick is inserted between the 1st and 5th day of the cycle. The insertion is done under local anaesthetic with the help of a special insertion syringe. Generally, the inner side of the upper arm is chosen - the left arm for right-handed women and the right arm for left-handed women. The contraceptive effect is ensured immediately after insertion. A new insertion after three years can be made in the same place by a single operation.

Possible complaints and complications: As with all hormonal contraceptive methods, undesirable side effects can occur, such as acne, weight gain, breast tenderness and harmless ovarian cysts. Irregular bleeding or spotting is possible, and often there is no period at all. By taking the minipill (e.g. Cerazette) for three months, it is possible to test whether purely progestogen-containing contraception is well tolerated before inserting the implant.

Application period: 3 years

Safety: Very high safety with a Pearl index of less than 0.1

Advantages: Contraception is ensured in the long term without the risk of ingestion errors that occur with oral contraceptives (e.g. the pill or mini-pill). The active ingredient enters the bloodstream directly, the gastrointestinal tract is not affected, so the effectiveness is not impaired in case of diarrhoea or vomiting. Implanon does not contain oestrogens like the pill.