Nexplanon is a form of hormonal contraceptive that consists of a small, thin plastic sub-dermal implant that is inserted into the under-arm of a woman by a trained clinician. Once inserted, the implant can prevent pregnancies for up to three years without having to be changed or replaced. Nexplanon is very effective as it involves little room for user error. There is no pill to forget to take, or patch or ring to forget to change. Once the Nexplanon has been placed it starts working and does not require anything else from the user. Nexplanon can be easily removed, however, should the user decide they would like to become pregnant.

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How Does Nexplanon Work?

Nexplanon contains progestin which is a synthetic version of a hormone that your body produces naturally. When Nexplanon implants are inserted into the underarm it begins to release small amounts of progestin into the blood stream. The hormone acts to prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation and by thickening the cervical mucus, which can prevent sperm from entering the uterus, and by thinning the uterine lining.

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How Effective Is Nexplanon?

Nexplanon is considered one of the most effective (99%) birth control options available. The mechanisms of pregnancy prevention employed by Nexplanon are similar to other hormonal birth control options but since Nexplanon requires the user to do little after insertion there is very little room for user error making the device more effective. There is no pill to forget to take, no patch or ring to forget to replace. Once the implant has been inserted it starts working and will continue to work for up to three years.

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How Do I Get It?

To get Nexplanon you must make an appointment with a trained clinician. To find a properly trained clinician near you visit Nexplanon’s website and use their Find a Healthcare Provider page to find a clinic near you.

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Is Nexplanon the Right Method for Me?

Nexplanon is a long term birth control method. If you think you would like to become pregnant sometime in the next three years you may want to choose a different method. Also, Nexplanon is injected into the skin and may cause scaring. On rare occasions improper insertion of Nexplanon may result in surgical removal.

Your health care provider can help you decide if Nexplanon is right for you.

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Does Nexplanon Prevent STDs Too?

Nexplanon is great for preventing unintended pregnancies but it offers NO PROTECTION against sexually transmitted diseases! If you are at risk for contracting STDs, you will need to take the necessary precautions to avoid them as well as pregnancy. To learn more about STDs and how to prevent them click HERE

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Are There Any Side Effects Associated With This Method?

The Nexplanon rod is inserted under the skin in the upper arm, and it is possible for the implant to be placed improperly (too deep or too shallow). If this happens the device may not work properly and if placed too deep, the implant may be difficult to remove and may require surgery. After placement, you should be able to feel the implant with your fingers under the layer of skin. If you cannot locate the implant you need to return to your health care provider. There may also be an increase in swelling, tenderness or scaring at the injection site.

Some women experience weight gain while using Nexplanon. This is caused by an increase in appetite and can be avoided through proper diet and adequate exercise.

A common side effect of Nexplanon is a change in the normal menstrual pattern. Some women may have irregular periods or spotting, frequent bleeding or spotting, or no periods at all. A return to a normal menstrual pattern will return when the Nexplanon implant is removed.

Some women have experienced an increase in headaches, ovarian cysts, and mood swings. If these occur, you should contact your health provider.

If you experience severe abdominal pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, severe headache, blurred vision, or swelling or severe pain in one leg, seek medical care immediately.

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Sub-Dermal Implant: a small flexible rod placed under the skin.
Severe Headache: this headache would be very painful and may be located on both sides of the head or only on one side. It may be throbbing or stabbing. Vision changes, nausea or vomiting may occur. Usually not relieved with aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), or acetaminophen (Tylenol). May be a symptom of a medical emergency.
Severe Abdominal Pain: this pain, located in the lower abdomen, is stronger than normal menstrual pain and usually not relieved with ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). May be a symptom of a medical emergency. On a pain scale of 0-10, with 10 being the worst pain, a person would rate severe pain in the 8-10 category.