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Removal of Birth Control Implant

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about birth control implant removal?

A birth control implant can be in place for up to 3 years before it needs to be removed or replaced.

How do I prepare for birth control implant removal?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for your procedure. There is usually little to no preparation needed before this procedure.

What happens during birth control implant removal?

  • You will lie on your back with your non-dominant arm out and bent up so your hand is near your head. Your healthcare provider will feel the area to find the implant. If he or she cannot feel the implant, an x-ray or ultrasound will show the exact location. Your healthcare provider will mark the area on your arm where the implant is located. You will be given a shot of local anesthesia to numb the area.
  • Your healthcare provider will press down on one end of implant so the other end lifts up. He or she will make a small incision near the lifted end of the implant. Your provider will gently push the implant towards the incision until he or she can see the tip. He or she will gently pull the implant out by holding on to the tip. If your provider cannot see the implant, he or she may need to make a slightly larger incision to pull the implant out. Your incision will be closed with medical tape and covered with an adhesive bandage. This will be covered with another bandage that applies pressure.

What happens after the implant is removed?

You will be able to remove the top bandage 24 hours after your procedure. The second bandage may need to stay on for 3 to 5 days. The medical tape will fall off on its own within 10 days.

What are the risks of birth control implant removal?

You may have pain, numbness, bruising, or bleeding at the removal site. You may get an infection. You may develop a scar. It may be hard to remove the implant if it was not inserted correctly, or it has moved. The implant may break during removal. You may need a larger incision to remove an implant that was inserted too deeply.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.