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How does an etonogestrel implant work?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

The etonogestrel implant prevents the release of an egg from the ovary, also called ovulation, for 3 years. It also causes changes in the cervical mucus and uterus that help prevent pregnancy. The cervical mucus thickens and this blocks sperm from entering the uterus. Also, the lining of the uterus becomes thinner. This makes it harder for a fertilized egg to attach.

Implant users do not need to keep supplies at home and don't need any follow-up visits with a doctor until it is time for the implant to be removed. But insertion does leave a small scar, and the implant can usually be felt if you press on the arm where it is located.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.