The Rod

What is the rod?

The rod is also known as the implant or a Jadelle. It is a long-acting and reversible method of preventing pregnancy. The rod is a fit-and-forget method of contraception. Once it’s in place you don’t have to worry about it or think about contraception for up to 5 years! The practitioner fitting your Jadelle will discuss whether four or five years is the best timeframe for you.

The device is two small matchstick-sized rods made from flexible plastic. When we say small we mean 42mm long and 2mm wide. The rods are placed under the skin on the inside of your upper arm.

The rod contains a tiny amount of hormones (progestogen) that are slowly released into your body to prevent you from getting pregnant.

How does the rod work?

The rod works by making it difficult for the sperm to swim and get to the egg. The device releases a tiny amount of the hormone progesterone that creates a sticky mucus at the entrance to your inside your uterus. The mucus acts like a barrier to stop the sperm from swimming through the opening of your uterus (the cervix), the tunnel to get to the egg. If the sperm can’t reach the egg, then you can’t get pregnant.

The progestogen in the rod also stops you from ovulating, so an egg doesn’t leave your ovaries once a month. When there is no egg released there is nothing for the sperm to meet. So if a sperm happens to get through the mucus barrier, there will be nothing for it to fertilise. No egg, no pregnancy.

Getting the rod

How is the rod fitted?

Getting the rod is simple. The skin on the inside of your upper arms is numbed using a little local anaesthetic injection. A special tool is used to slide the rods under your skin, and just like this your rod is fitted.

There will be a small 3mm hole where your rod is inserted. There is no need for stitches. A bandage will be placed over the incision. This will heal up on its own over the next few days.

All up, your appointment should take no longer than 15 minutes, but the insertion only takes about five minutes.

What will I feel?

You will feel a little pinch and sting as the local anaesthetic goes into your arm. It is just like getting a vaccination. The anaesthetic will work its magic so you won’t be able to feel anything as the rod is inserted.

Once the anaesthetic has worn off, your arm may feel a little tender for the rest of the day, so take it easy. You may also notice some swelling around the rod. It is also common to have a bit of a bruise.

You will be able to feel the rod under your skin if you touch the area. You won’t be able to see it under your skin. No one else will be able to see it either.

Hormones in the rod

The rod contains a very small about of progestogen. Progestogen is like the hormone, progesterone, that your body makes naturally. The hormone is slowly released from the device into your bloodstreamblood stream over the time it is fitted and won’t linger in your body once it has been removed.
The implant is one of many options of contraception that contain hormones.

What happens to my period with the rod?

Getting the rod may change your period. It might become lighter, shorter, irregular, and in some cases completely stop. This is normal.

The hormone released from the rod changes the environment inside your uterus. Instead of the lining of your uterus thickening, once a month to form a cosy nest for the egg, it remains thin. This stops the egg from being able to develop if fertilised. – No nest, no pregnancy. Because the lining of your uterus doesn’t thicken there isn’t as much to come out as ‘blood’ during your period. This will lessen the flow of your period or may even stop it altogether. If your period doesn’t stop altogether, you may experience spotting between them.

Also, as the lining of your uterus doesn’t thicken as much, your uterus doesn’t have to squeeze so much to get it out when you have your period. Therefore less cramps. Even though the amount you bleed may change, you will still go through your monthly hormonal cycle. The rod won’t stop your other normal period symptoms, such as, tender breasts, mood swings, tiredness, changes in your skin, cravings, and eating too much chocolate.

If you experience heavy and crampy periods, getting the rod could make a real difference to your time of the month.

When can I have sex?

You can have sex as soon as you feel ready after getting your rod fitted. But depending on where you are in your cycle you may need to use contraception for a little longer.

If you get the rod fitted within the first 5 days of your period, you are protected straight away.

If you get the rod fitted at any other time during your cycle, you are not protected for the first 7 days. Use another type of contraception for the first week to prevent pregnancy.

The rod is an amazing form of contraception, but it doesn’t protect you from STIs. Condoms are the only way to protect yourself from STIs.

Getting your rod removed

When you no longer want your rod, for whatever reason that may be, it can easily be removed.

The process is similar to getting the rod fitted. The area of your upper inner arm is numbed using a small local anaesthetic injection. The rod is then taken out from under your skin through a small incision.

There will be a small 3mm hole where your rod is removed. There is no need for stitches. A bandage will be placed over the incision. This will heal up on its own over the next few days.

All up, your appointment should take no longer than 20 minutes. The removal takes a few minutes longer than getting it inserted.

Once your rod has been removed, your fertility returns to normal within a few days.

What happens once my rod is removed?

Once your rod is removed, your body will return to normal within a few days. The hormones from the device will disappear from your bloodstream quite quickly.

Your next period will depend on where you are in your cycle when the device is removed. Your period should return within four weeks. Your first period may be lighter than normal, as the lining of your uterus may not have had time to fully thicken. By your second or third period, it will be back to what it used to be.

Does the rod affect my fertility?

The rod does not affect your fertility or chances of getting pregnant once it is removed.

Replacing your rod

Your rod is effective against pregnancy for 4 or 5 years. The practitioner fitting your Jadelle will discuss what is best for you. If it gets to the end of its life, and you love it so much that you want another one, it can be replaced. We swap the old one for a new one. It can all be done within a 20-minute appointment. Since you are replacing like for like, your body will adjust to the new device straight away.

It is safe to use the rod for as long as you like. We will send you a reminder four weeks before your device is due to be changed.

Learn more

Your guide to IUDs

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The Jab

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Other contrecption

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Interested in using contraception?

Reach out online or call 0800 226 784 to speak to one of our nurses. We value your decision about your health.

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