How do I change from another method?
People often choose to change contraception. This section contains advice on changing from one method of contraception to another.
The contraceptive implant needs to have been in place for seven days before it can stop ovulation. Therefore, when you change from another method, precautions may be necessary for seven days. (This is sometimes not necessary, but only if your previous method means that there is no chance of you ovulating during the first seven days of the implant.)
How do I change to the implant from the combined pill?
If you are taking the regular, combined hormone contraceptive (CHC) pill, the implant can be inserted on the first pill-free day after you finish the packet. Protection is then continued without a break.
If you have the implant inserted during the remaining days of the pill-free interval you should use additional protection for the first seven days. If you have had unprotected sex (intercourse) during the gap, you are also advised to restart your CHC for at least seven days, taking it when you would normally have done so.
If you have the contraceptive implant inserted in the first seven days of your pill packet, you should continue taking your CHC for a further seven days (or use an additional method).
If you have the contraceptive implant inserted when you are more than seven days into your CHC pill packet, and have not missed any pills, you are covered immediately and do not need to finish your pill packet.
How do I change to the implant from an injectable contraceptive?
If you put the contraceptive implant in whilst your injection is still active (ie within 14 weeks of your last injection), you are covered immediately.
If you have 'gone over' the 14 weeks by a day or more, you can still have the contraceptive implant but need to use additional precautions for seven days. If you had unprotected intercourse in the interval, you should also take emergency contraception, and if you do not have a period, you should do a pregnancy test three weeks later.
How do I change to the implant from the progestogen-only pill?
If switching from the progestogen-only pill (POP), you should continue the POP for seven days after the implant has been inserted, or use other methods.
How do I change to the implant from the progestogen intrauterine system (Mirena® or Jaydess®)?
If switching from the progestogen intrauterine system (IUS), you should keep your IUS in place, or use other methods, for the first seven days after insertion of the implant.
How do I change to the implant from the intrauterine contraceptive device?
If switching to the contraceptive implant from the copper intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD), you should leave your IUCD in place, or use another method, for the first seven days after insertion of the implant.
How do I change to the implant from a non-hormonal method?
If your implant is inserted on day 1-5 of your menstrual cycle, no other precautions are needed; you are covered straightaway.
If your implant is inserted at any other time, you need to be sure you are not pregnant, and to take extra precautions for the first seven days.
Did you find this information useful?
- Long-acting reversible contraception; NICE Clinical Guideline (September 2014)
- Power J, French R, Cowan F; Subdermal implantable contraceptives versus other forms of reversible contraceptives or other implants as effective methods of preventing pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jul 18 (3):CD001326.
- Nexplanon®, CEU Statement; Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, 2010
- Trussell J; Contraceptive failure in the United States, Contraception, 2011
- UKMEC Summary table for intrauterine and hormonal contraception; Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health (2016)
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.