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What does it do?

Levonorgestrel is used to prevent pregnancy.

Before you start

  • Tell your doctor if you have breast cancer.

How is it given?

Two implants are inserted under the skin in your upper arm by a health professional. They can stay in place for a maximum of 5 years.

Visit the Family Planning website for more information:

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Changes in periods

Irregular bleeding is common in the first 3-6 months. This is not harmful and usually improves with time. After this, some women will not have any periods at all.

Mood changes, headache


Weight gain

Sore breasts

Stomach upset

Bleeding or itching at implant site

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Keep the implant area dry for a few days after it is inserted and follow your doctor’s instructions on when to remove the dressing and/or bandage.
  • See your doctor if you cannot feel your implant, if you notice any changes around your implant, or if you become pregnant.
  • Your implant does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
  • You can ask to have your implant removed at any time. This must be done by your health professional – do not remove it yourself. The implant can be hard to remove in a small number of women; you may need more than one visit to the clinic if this is the case.
  • You can get pregnant as soon as your implant is removed.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. March 2023

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed