Implanon offers effective, long-term contraception. Among various benefits, Implanon:

  • Can be removed at any time, followed by a quick return to fertility
  • Eliminates the need to interrupt sex for contraception or seek partner compliance
  • Provides relief from menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) and pelvic pain caused by endometriosis

Implanon isn't appropriate for everyone, however. Your health care provider may discourage use of Implanon if you:

  • Are allergic to any components of the implant
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have had serious blood clots, a heart attack or a stroke
  • Have hepatic tumors or liver disease
  • Have known or suspected breast cancer or a history of breast cancer
  • Have undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding

Although the label for Implanon says it shouldn't be used by women with a history of blood clots, it isn't clear whether Implanon affects the risk of blood clots. The warning comes from studies of combination birth control pills that contain the same progestin as is used in Implanon.

Many experts believe progestin-only contraceptives have a significantly lower risk of these types of complications. However, the progestin in Implanon is a metabolite of desogestrel, which when used in oral contraceptives, appears to be associated with an increased risk of blood clots compared with pills with other formulations. Once again, it is not clear if this risk would be significant when the progestin is used alone as in Implanon, as opposed to when it's used with estrogen in an oral contraceptive.

In addition, tell your health care provider if you have a history of:

  • An allergic reaction to anesthetics or antiseptics
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Gallbladder or kidney disease
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Seizures or epilepsy
Jan. 21, 2012