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Nexplanon is a reversible and highly effective form of birth control. It provides several years’ worth of protection against unintended pregnancy.
Sometimes, people refer to it as the implant. This is because it is a small plastic tube that a doctor inserts into the upper arm.
This article covers everything a person needs to know about Nexplanon, including how it works, its benefits, and some potential risks.
Nexplanon is a type of reversible hormonal birth control. The contraceptive is a 1.5-inch long soft plastic tube that releases hormones to prevent pregnancy.
Like with an intrauterine device (IUD), a person needs to visit a doctor to have them insert the contraceptive. Following insertion, the person will have protection against pregnancy for up to 3 years.
Nexplanon does not help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A person should try to find out their partner’s sexual history and take additional steps to help prevent infection.
Nexplanon releases progestin into the bloodstream. Progestin is an artificial hormone similar to progesterone.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, progestin works in three ways to prevent pregnancy:
- It thickens the mucus around the cervix, which prevents the sperm from reaching the egg.
- It prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg.
- It thins the uterine lining.
The Nexplanon insert is one of the most effective forms of birth control. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), fewer than 1 out of 100 people become pregnant while using it.
In other words, it is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
Unlike other forms of hormonal birth control, a person does not need to use Nexplanon daily, weekly, or monthly.
Instead, they will need to visit a doctor every 3 years or as the doctor directs. This can take some of the stress away for people who find it hard to take other forms of birth control regularly.
Nexplanon is very effective in preventing unintended pregnancy. After a week following insertion, it is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
However, a person will need to use additional birth control methods or avoid sexual intercourse for the first 7 days following insertion. During this time, a person can still become pregnant.
Nexplanon has several potential side effects, which means that this option may not be suitable for everyone.
According to the FDA, over 10% of people who use Nexplanon may experience one or more of the following common side effects:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) add that other potential risks include:
- blood clots
- liver disease
- ectopic pregnancy
- pain at the insertion site
- flu-like symptoms
- back pain
- increased blood pressure
Certain people should not use Nexplanon. The FDA states the following groups should avoid using it:
- people who have had serious blood clots
- people who may be pregnant
- people who have or have had breast cancer
- people with allergies to anything in the product
- people living with liver tumors or disease
- people with unusual vaginal bleeding
A person will also need to take additional steps to prevent STIs. This may include using condoms or avoiding sexual contact while their partner has any flares in symptoms.
A person needs to visit a doctor’s office to have the flexible tube inserted into their upper arm. People interested in having a Nexplanon implant should make sure that the doctor has experience in performing the procedure.
During the procedure, the doctor will make a small incision with a tool designed to insert Nexplanon. The procedure only takes a few minutes and does not require any downtime.
The doctor can insert the device at the same time as they remove an old one. To remove the device, they will administer a local anesthetic to the area, make a small incision underneath the implant, and grip the device with forceps to gently pull it out.
A range of healthcare professionals and birth control services offer Nexplanon and other contraceptive options online.
There are several birth control options that a person can choose from. Some other forms of birth control include:
- birth control pills
- IUDs, either hormonal or copper
- the ring, which a doctor will insert into the vagina
- the shot
- the patch
All forms of birth control have some risks associated with their use. Any form of hormonal birth control will have similar side effects and risk factors.
However, when a person uses them correctly, most forms of birth control have a high effectiveness rate.
People with other prescriptions for birth control can look into services such as Nurx. This company offers delivery of prescription birth control products such as the pill, patch, ring, or shot.
Nexplanon is a type of hormonal birth control. A doctor will insert the small plastic tube into a person’s upper arm.
The contraceptive provides nearly 100% protection for up to 3 years at a time. Once this time is up, the doctor can remove the tube and insert a new one.
It is worth noting that Nexplanon is not a good solution for everyone. A person with a history of breast cancer, liver disease, or another health condition should talk with a doctor before insertion.