Prescription Options

What to Know About the Nexplanon Birth Control Implant

July 24, 2018

Nexplanon is the newer form of the birth control implant, Implanon. This single-rod implant is around the size of a matchstick (1.6 inches ). Nexplanon is a progestin-only contraceptive that contains 68 mg of etonogestrel, and supplies pregnancy coverage for up to three years once it’s inserted.

Nexplanon is made from a soft, flexible, medical polymer.

The FDA has approved Nexplanon for the prevention of pregnancy for up to three years. It must be removed after this time  because it will not dissolve. Nonetheless, you can choose to get it removed at any moment before the 3 years are up. It is possible to also have a new Nexplanon added after having your older one eliminated. If Nexplanon isn’t removed after three years, the small bit of etonogestrel which will nevertheless be released may cause fertility problems or ectopic pregnancy. Additionally, it will no longer be effective at protecting you from getting pregnant.


This birth control implant is inserted under the skin of your upper arm. Nexplanon must be set in place with a specially trained medical professional. You’ll be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. Your health care provider will then use a special applicator that will guide Nexplanon under the skin of your arm. After the implant is placed, you and your doctor should check it is in your arm by setting for it.

The entire insertion process only takes a couple of minutes. Once Nexplanon is added, you’ll have to wear a pressure bandage for 24 hours and a small bandage for 3 to five days.

How It Works

Nexplanon continually releases a low dose of the progestin etonogestrel over a 3-year period. The quantity of progestin gradually reduces over time.


  • Throughout the first six weeks, 60 to 70 micrograms of the progestin is published daily
  • At the end of the first year, approximately 35-45 micrograms are released each day
  • This reduces to approximately 30-40 micrograms Every Day at the end of the second year
  • Around 25-30 micrograms are released Daily at the end of the third year

After three years, Nexplanon will not release enough hormone to guard you against pregnancy.

Nexplanon vs. Implanon

Nexplanon differs from Implanon in 2 ways.

  1. Nexplanon is radiopaque. This usually means that the implant can be seen in an x ray, CT scan, ultrasound, scan or MRI. There has been a concern over increased failure rates using Implanon in the united kingdom during January 2011. It appeared that Implanon wasn’t as successful because doctors weren’t inserting it correctly. They had no actual way (besides to feel the birth control implant under the skin) to ensure that the Implanon rod was inserted. With Nexplanon, physicians are now able to confirm that the implant has been properly inserted and also can easily find it before removal.
  2. Nexplanon also includes a different applicator compared to Implanon, so the insertion procedure is a little different. The brand new preloaded applicator is intended to decrease the probability of insertion errors (for example, implanting Nexplanon too intensely ). The Nexplanon applicator is also designed to be operated with one hand. The older Implanon applicator made it tough to tell whether the rod had really been inserted into the arm. The Implanon rod could also fall from the old applicator if it was was not correctly held.


    • Discreet and personal
    • Doesn’t require ongoing maintenance or the need to remember to use birth control
    • One of the most effective, long-acting reversible contraceptives available
    • A good alternative option for girls who can’t utilize estrogen-based birth control
    • Could be used while still breastfeeding (after 4 months )
    • Enables for sexual spontaneity (nothing needs to be inserted or put on prior to sex)
    • Nexplanon is effective immediately effective if inserted between the first and fifth day of your menstrual period
    • Eco-friendly contraceptive procedure
    • Because of its low and steady hormone delivery, Nexplanon may have fewer hormonal ups and downs than daily or weekly birth control methods
    • Fertility quickly returns after you stop using Nexplanon; pregnancies have been reported to occur as early as 7 to 14 days following Nexplanon has been removed
    • A Fantastic birth control option for teens

    Negative Effects

    The most frequent complication of Nexplanon is changes on your monthly bleeding patterns. These may include changes in frequency, intensity, or duration of bleeding. Bleeding irregularities were the most common reason that women stopped using Nexplanon. About one in five women are not going to have a period at all. Yet another one in five women will have regular and/or protracted bleeding. The bleeding pattern you encounter during the first three months following Nexplanon is inserted is a good indicator of your upcoming bleeding pattern while using this birth control implant.

    Additional Nexplanon side effects may include:

    • Headache (24.9 percent reported in clinical trials)
    • Vaginitis (14.5 percent)
    • Weight increase (13.7 percent)
    • Acne (13.5 percent)
    • Breast pain (12.8 percent)
    • Abdominal pain (10.9 persent)
    • Sore throat (10.5 percent)

    Other common Nexplanon side effects have also been reported. These include increased appetite, emotional lability (shaky and/or rapid emotional adjustments, which include depressed mood, anxiety, and/or decreased sex drive), dizziness, nausea, hot flush, and hair loss, fatigue, increased blood pressure, and implant site pain or response.

    Possible Interactions

    Serious problems with Nexplanon are infrequent, but make sure to report any complications for your doctor straight away.

    • Insertion Illness: Some girls may experience bruising, local irritation, itching, itching, paresthesias (i.e., tingling, burning, pricking or numbness), bleeding, hematoma, scarring, or disease after having Nexplanon inserted. In case Nexplanon is inserted too deeply, neuro or vascular injury may occur.
    • Removal Complications: Removal of Nexplanon may be difficult when the implant is not where it ought to be, if it was inserted, added too deeply, it has broken, or if it has become excruciating. In such cases, you might have to have Nexplanon removed surgically.
    • Ectopic Pregnancy: Should you just happen to become pregnant while on Nexplanon, then there’s a slightly higher likelihood (as compared to girls who aren’t using hormonal birth control) that your pregnancy will be ectopic.
    • Medicine Interactions: Specific medications may make Nexplanon less powerful (like ones that lead to liver enzymes), which means you might have to use a backup contraceptive method. Be certain to tell your doctor about any medications you are taking or plan to utilize.

    Who Would Use It

    Nexplanon is a safe birth control option for many healthy women. It is important to discuss your entire medical history with your doctor before using Nexplanon.

    You may still have the ability to utilize Nexplanon even in the event that you have specific risk factors as long as you stay under close medical supervision. But Nexplanon might not be the right method for everyone. Nexplanon use is not recommended if you:

    • Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
    • Have liver disease
    • Have unexplained vaginal bleeding
    • Have or have had breast cancer
    • Have a history of severe depression
    • Have or had severe blood clots in your legs, lungs, eyes, heart, or mind (stroke)

    Nexplanon might likewise not be your very best choice if you have or had diabetes, higher cholesterol or triglycerides, headaches, seizures/epilepsy, kidney or liver disease, high blood pressure, or an allergic reaction to anesthetics or antiseptics.

    How to Get It 

    You want a medical prescription to obtain Nexplanon. Strategy for two physician’s visits: to begin with, you will probably need to have a medical evaluation, including a blood pressure check and a rectal examination. At the moment, your doctor should discuss with you the pros and cons of Nexplanon and will make an appointment for you to return for the insertion of the birth control implant. Ensure you locate a trained health care professional to insert (or remove) Nexplanon. Doctors have to be educated and qualified through special training programs so as to buy Nexplanon in addition to fit and remove it.


    Nexplanon costs might differ from area to area. The cost also depends on insurance, copays, along with your doctor/family planning clinic. Though this method might have a higher upfront cost, compared to other birth control methods, you could save a great deal more money with time. You should also check to your private health insurance policy as policy for Nexplanon ought to be covered without a out-of-pocket costs for all non-grandfathered insurance programs.


    Nexplanon is 99.9% effective when added properly. This means that from each 100 women who use Nexplanon for a single year, less than one will become pregnant with typical use as well as with perfect use.

    Nexplanon might be less successful in obese women and for those who are taking drugs that cause liver enzymes.

    The potency of Nexplanon in women who weigh more than 130 percent of their ideal body weight is not known. Concentrations of etonogestrel are inversely related to body fat and decrease time after implant insertion. Because of this, it’s thought that Nexplanon may be less successful in obese girls. If you are a heavier lady who utilizes Nexplanon, speak with your physician about replacing your Nexplanon prior to your three years are up (since the progestin levels throughout the next year may not adequately protect you against pregnancy).

    STD Protection

    Nexplanon offers no protection from sexually transmitted diseases.