While approximately half of the women will continue to have regular periods after the insertion of the contraceptive implant, many women will experience changes in their periods which include; periods may cease altogether (in around 20 percent of women), periods may come at the normal time but are lighter and less painful, intermittent bleeding in between periods, and heavy, longer or more painful periods. Unusual bleeding should settle down within three months.
Around 20 percent of women will have bleeding patterns that don’t settle down by this time and may choose to remove the implant if the bleeding persists. Other side effects are uncommon but some women sensitive to the hormones in the implant may experience acne, headaches, moodiness, weight gain and breast tenderness. These symptoms usually improve over time. If you are at all concerned about any symptoms you think may be caused by this contraceptive consult your doctor immediately.
The implant must be removed and/or replaced after three years. Not only will it not protect against pregnancy, leaving it in place after this time may increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). Your doctor will give you a card which records the date that your implant must be removed and/or replaced, but ultimately it is your responsibility to make an appointment to visit your doctor.