Contraceptive implant and menstruation: what are the effects after insertion?

What are the consequences and risks of the contraceptive implant on menstruation? Will I no longer have blood loss if I have one? Today we answer your questions about its use!

What is a contraceptive implant?

The hormonal or contraceptive implant is a small piece of plastic that looks like a match, measuring 2 cm in diameter and 4 cm long, which is injected under the skin to continuously deliver hormones that will block ovulation (etonogestrel). The subcutaneous implant, such as NEXPLANON in France, acts like the progestin-only pill but releases hormones directly into the bloodstream for about 3 years. For one woman out of five, its use will stop menstruation and cause an amenorrhea. This method will therefore in most cases have an effect on the contraception and menstruation duo.

What are the effects of a contraceptive implant on periods?

Like any hormonal contraception, it is possible that the implant will have an impact on blood loss. Many women wonder if they will gain weight, have severe acne, have a heavier flow with the implant or not have a period at all. 50-60% of women who have an implant have regular or less frequent periods than during their natural cycle. The menstrual period can be very short or sometimes much longer, lasting about ten days.

Complete cessation of menstruation

On average, between 20 and 30% of women have no blood loss at all during the entire period of use of the implant. This is a side effect that shows the effectiveness of the implant. Indeed, it will stop ovulation and reduce the thickness of the endometrium which will no longer bleed. After observing that the implant causes the absence of menstruation, there is no need to perform a pregnancy test to check if you have a risk of becoming pregnant every month.

In fact, it is a reliable contraceptive method, close to 100% effective when administered between the 1st and 5th day of menstruation. Keep in mind that it is said that the implant reproduces thehormonal state of pregnancy in the case of amenorrhea, it is possible that during the first few weeks of use, users may notice swelling of their breasts or tension in their breasts. Do not hesitate to talk to your health care professional if you have any questions or concerns.

The appearance of irregular periods

10-20% of implant users experience very frequent bleeding in the first six months after insertion under the skin. They usually have a light flow but more frequent and prolonged spotting and blood loss.

These periods under implants or spotting are related to the thinness of the endometrium of the uterine wall which is thinned by its hormones. The endometrium will be more fragile and will tend to bleed more easily.

If you suffer from frequent spotting with an implant, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. Generally, two solutions or medications are available

  • Takingibuprofen as a prescribed course of treatment for a few days, which will stop spotting and bleeding outside of menstruation for good
  • Acourse ofestrogens that will thicken the endometrium to prevent it from bleeding. The disadvantage is that it is the pill that is being taken!

When does the contraceptive implant start to affect menstruation?

The implant will affect menstrual cycles as soon as it is put in place and the consequences will be lasting after 6 months. Indeed, the effect on contraception will be immediate one day after the break, unless it is placed after the 5th day of the period. Once menstruation has passed, users will be able to observe an amenorrhea at 28 days after its insertion in the arm, the appearance of their menstrual periods. It takes an average of three to six months for the implant to have a permanent impact on the menstrual cycle.

What are the alternatives to the contraceptive implant?

You have a choice of contraceptives to block pregnancy or regulate your menstrual cycle and flow. If you wish to remove your prescribed implant, here is a non-exhaustive list of alternatives that your health care professional, doctor or gynecologist can suggest.

Estrogen-progestin contraception Contraceptive with progestin Non-hormonal contraceptive
Effects : Block ovulation and cause less abundant menstruation Effects: Blocks ovulation and menstrual cycle with false periods Effects : Does not block the menstrual cycle and blood flow

The low-dose or combined pill

The progestin-only pill The copper coil

The contraceptive patch

The contraceptive implant Spermicides

The contraceptive ring

The hormonal IUD Condom

Hormonal contraceptives Cervical cap of the diaphragm

Contraceptive implant and menstruation FAQ

What are the effects of the contraceptive implant on menstruation?

The implant is a method of hormonal contraception that will affect menstruation. It will act as an ovulation blocker and reduce the production of the endometrium responsible for blood loss. It will block ovulation and thin the uterine wall. The flow will be shorter and less abundant. Some women will no longer have periods while others will have spotting.

Should the contraceptive implant be removed in case of irregular periods?

If you have irregular periods or spotting with an implant, it is not necessary to remove it in the first place. Your doctor or health care professional will suggest alternatives to strengthen your endometrium and reduce its adverse effects. In any case, it is important to report any side effects to them.


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