The implant-known brand as Nexplanon- is a hormonal method that needs to be administered by a doctor.
It’s a tiny rod that’s inserted under the skin of your upper arm. It’s so small, in fact, most people can’t see it once it’s inserted. Nexplanon releases hormones that stop the ovaries from releasing eggs and thicken the cervical mucus, which helps to block sperm from getting to the egg in the first place.
ONCE NEXPLANON IS INSERTED,
it’s as easy to use as, well, doing nothing. That’s right. The Nexplanon implant just sits there, under your skin in your upper arm, offering protection against pregnancy for up to three years.
Here’s how the whole thing goes: go to the doctor or healthcare provider, they gather all your medical info and give you a physical exam, then they numb a small area of your upper arm with a painkiller and insert the implant under your skin. And you’re done.
If you get Nexplanon during the first five days of your period, lucky you: You’re set with pregnancy protection from that very moment. If you’re outside of those first five days, you’ll need to use a backup method for the following week. Ex: Male condoms, female condoms, diaphragm, sponge, or emergency contraception.
When it’s time to take the Nexplanon out, your doctor will numb your arm again, make a tiny cut in your skin, and remove the implant. If you’re interested in continuing to use Nexplanon, they can put another implant in at the same time.
THERE ARE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE THINGS TO SAY
about each and every method. And everyone’s different—so what you experience may not be the same as what your friend experiences.
Positive “side effects”? You bet. There are actually lots of things about birth control that are good for your body as well as your sex life.
Doesn’t interrupt the heat of the moment
Some people have fewer, lighter periods
You don’t have to worry about remembering to take it every day
Your birth control is taken care of for up to 3 years
Can be used by women who can’t take estrogen
May improve PMS, depression and symptoms from endometriosis
Everyone worries about negative side effects, but for many people, they’re not a problem. And if you do experience side effects, they’ll probably go away. Remember, you’re introducing hormones into your body, so it can take a few months to adjust. Give it time.
THE MOST COMMON COMPLAINT:
Irregular bleeding, especially for the first 6-12 months. This could mean spotting in between periods or having longer, heavier periods. Some people have irregular bleeding the whole time Nexplanon is in. On the other hand, some people get no periods at all, at least for a while. A little unpredictable, but most people seem to do okay. Bottom line: You need to be okay with irregular periods if you are thinking about the Nexplanon implant .
If you find the side effects unbearable after six months, talk with your doctor about switching to something that works for you. Just make sure to stay protected by starting a new method immediately. You’re worth it.
*For a very small number of women there are risks of serious side effects.
GET IT AND FORGET IT
If you’re a busy person who doesn’t want to worry about remembering birth control, Nexplanon just may be for you. Once it’s in, it lasts for up to 3 years, just remember, the implant does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
No packages or prescriptions to pick up at the pharmacy, so there’s nothing that could get lost or forgotten.
No one can tell when you have the implant. There’s no tell-tale packaging, and nothing you need to do right before you have sex.
THE PREGNANCY QUESTION
You should return to fertility (fancy way of saying you should go back to being able to get pregnant) any time after Nexplanon is removed. So don’t take any chances. If you get it taken out, but you’re not ready for a baby, protect yourself with another method right away.