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

What are the consequences and risks of contraceptive implants on periods ? Will I stop bleeding if I have one? Today we're answering your questions about its use!

What is a contraceptive implant?

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

What are the effects of contraceptive implants on periods ?

Like all hormonal contraception, the implant may have an impact on blood loss. Many women wonder whether they'll experience weight gain, acne, heavier flow with the implant or, on the contrary, no periods at all. 50 to 60% of women with implants have regular or less frequentperiods periods than during their natural cycle. The menstrual period can be very short, or sometimes much longer, lasting around ten days.

The complete shutdown of periods

On average, between 20% and 30% of women experience no blood loss at all for the duration of implant use. This is a side effect that demonstrates the implant's effectiveness. It stops ovulation and reduces the thickness of the endometrium, which no longer bleeds. Once you've observed that the implant causes the absence of periods, there's no need to take a pregnancy test to check whether you're at risk of becoming pregnant every month.

In fact, it's a reliable contraceptive method, with close to 100% efficacy when administered between the 1st and 5th day of menstruation. Bear in mind that, in the case of amenorrhea, the implant is said to reproduce thehormonal state of pregnancy, and users may experience swelling or tension in their breasts during the first few weeks of use. Don't hesitate to speak to your healthcare professional if you have any questions or doubts.

The appearance of irregular periods

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

These periods under implants or spotting are linked to the thinness of the endometrium of the uterine wall, which is thinned by its hormones. The endometrium is more fragile and tends to bleed more easily.

If you suffer from frequent discharge and spotting with an implant, don't hesitate to consult your doctor. Two solutions or medications are generally available

  • Prescriptionibuprofen, taken as a course of treatment over a few days, to stop spotting and bleeding outside the menstrual period on a long-term basis.
  • Acourse ofestrogens that will thicken the endometrium to prevent it from bleeding. The drawback is that this involves taking the pill!

When does the contraceptive implant start to affect periods ?

The implant will have an impact on menstrual cycles from the moment it is inserted, and the consequences will be long-lasting after 6 months. In fact, the effect on contraception will be immediate one day after the break, unless it is inserted after the 5th day of periods. Once menstruation has stopped, users will be able to observe amenorrhea at 28 days after insertion in the arm, the onset of their menstrual periods. On average, it takes three to six months for the implant to have a definitive impact on the menstrual cycle.

What are the alternatives to contraceptive implants?

You have a choice of contraception 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 healthcare professional, doctor or gynecologist can suggest.

Estrogen-progestin contraception Contraceptive with progestin Non-hormonal contraceptives
Effects: Blocks ovulation and causes less abundant menstruation Effects: Blocks ovulation and the menstrual cycle with false periods Effects: Does not block the menstrual cycle or 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 The condom


Hormonal contraceptives The cervical cape of the diaphragm


FAQs on contraceptive implants and periods

What are the effects of contraceptive implants on periods ?

The implant is a hormonal contraceptive method that has an impact on periods. It blocks ovulation and reduces endometrial production, which is responsible for blood loss. It blocks ovulation and thins the uterine wall. The flow will be shorter and less abundant. Some women will no longer menstruate, while others will experience spotting.

Should I remove my contraceptive implant if I have irregular periods ?

In the event of irregular periods or spotting with an implant, it is not necessary to remove it in the first instance. Your doctor or healthcare professional will suggest alternatives to strengthen your endometrium and reduce its undesirable consequences. In any case, it's important to report any side effects to your doctor or healthcare professional.

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