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Explaining Nexplanon Birth Control

Are you tired of setting a daily reminder on your phone to take your birth control pill? You’re in luck! Nexplanon, a birth control implant, is an effective option that requires no daily maintenance. Dive into this potential birth control method for more information. 

What is Nexplanon?

Nexplanon is a contraceptive that is implanted in the arm and releases a hormone that stops an egg from being released by your ovary and prevents sperm from reaching the egg. Mayo Clinic describes this birth control option as a flexible plastic rod about the size of a matchstick.

How is Nexplanon placed?

The implant insertion happens quickly and efficiently. Your healthcare provider will give you a shot to numb a small area of your arm. Most people feel a small pinch or stinging during the insertion but after that, you shouldn’t be able to feel the implant. Your healthcare provider will then use an inserter tool to slide the implant under the skin. And that’s it! You and your healthcare provider should check that the implant was placed correctly by feeling your arm for it.

What is the aftercare of my implant insertion?

The insertion should only take a few minutes with minimal aftercare. You may experience tenderness or minor swelling around the implant for a few days following the insertion, but this is normal. It is also normal to bruise by the implant, but this too should clear up within a week or two.

What are the benefits of the birth control implant?

Highly effective with minimal maintenance.

Nexplanon is over 99 percent effective making it as effective as other common contraceptives like the pill or IUDs. Unlike oral contraceptives, Nexplanon does not require daily maintenance. It doesn’t even require weekly maintenance! After insertion, your implant will require no consideration for up to three years. There is no worry about missing a dose or decreasing its effectiveness.

Period relief

Many women choose to use birth control methods for reasons other than pregnancy prevention. The implant can help lessen period cramps and make your period lighter. Planned Parenthood says one in three people with the implant stop getting their periods at all after a year.

Single hormone based

Nexplanon has a single hormone, progestin, as opposed to many hormonal birth control methods that contain two, estrogen and progestin. These hormones are found in many birth control methods, but the implant is an effective alternative for some women who can’t use methods that contain estrogen.

Reversible

If at any time you choose to stop your birth control, call your healthcare provider and schedule an implant removal. This method does not increase the difficulty of becoming pregnant.

What should I know before making a decision?

The most common side effect is irregular bleeding, especially in the first 6-12 months. Many women experience light periods or a stop to their periods altogether. However, they may experience spotting as their body adjusts.

Other common side effects of Nexplanon include:

  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Acne
  • Pain at the site of insertion

This method of birth control also does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It’s important to keep communication open with your partner(s) about sexual health and STD testing.

Nexplanon can be an effective, minimal-effort birth control option for you. Like any medication or treatment, every woman reacts differently. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss the process of starting Nexplanon or if this method is a good fit for your needs.