Ask Sam letter


To Sam

The implant

i had the implant put in just over a month ago now but i still get my period and have been on my period for nearly 3 weeks now and they are quite heavy for what i am used to when i didnt have the implant can you tell me how i could get them to stop or how to explain to the doctor

Ask Sam


Hi there,

The contraceptive implant is a common way for women to not only protect against pregnancy, but to help control problems with periods. It can work really well for some people but not so well for others - though usually it takes some time for things to settle down. The best thing to do if you're worried is to go back to your doctor and talk about what’s happening.

The implant is available for free to all women, even if you're under 16. You can get it without your parents knowing and it’s easy to have fitted - it's a short appointment and doesn't involve surgery or any stay in hospital. It isn't for everyone however and sometimes it has side effects which can be disruptive for people. The NHS has some more information on these.

After it’s put in, it protects against pregnancy usually within a week, though it can depend where in your menstrual cycle you are. It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, so it’s important to use protection like condoms.

The effects on your periods can take months to settle into a routine. They vary from person to person - some people have longer, lighter periods whereas other people have no period at all. Some people have heavier periods - this might only be for a while or it might always be like that. It's common for periods to be irregular and less predictable when using the implant. You have to try it to find out what it's like for you, and if it’s a good fit.

The implant also might not work for you right now, but that doesn't mean it can't later on. Your body is still changing when you are a teenager so if you find it's not working out for you now, you can still try again in a few years. There are other options for contraception or controlling your period that you can try instead.

One of the benefits of the implant is you can take it out and after a while your periods should go back to normal. There's no pressure to make a decision right away - the best thing to do is go back to your doctor and talk about it. They might recommend giving it some time to see what happens, but you can choose if you want this or not. Your doctor wants what’s best for you and won’t be judgemental about your worries or the side effects you’re having. If you’re feeling nervous, Childline has advice about having tricky conversations and lots of information about visiting your doctor.

It might be useful to hear the experiences other people have had with the implant by talking about it on Childline’s message boards. You could make a post sharing your experience and asking for other people to share their own. Or if you want to talk this over with someone, Childline counsellors are here to listen anytime.

I hope this helps, thanks for sending me this letter.

Take care.


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