If you’d like to use a “get it and forget it” type of birth control, you may want to consider the Nexplanon® implant.
Nexplanon is a long-lasting, low-maintenance form of birth control that is increasingly popular among women who don’t want to have to think about taking pills, inserting diaphragms, or using condoms.
Dr. Anna Le and our team at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care in Annandale and Alexandria, Virginia have extensive experience inserting Nexplanon. We’d like to share the following information with you about this low-maintenance birth control option.
A simple solution
Nexplanon is a thin, flexible piece of plastic about the size of a matchstick (1.6 inches) that contains hormones.
Dr. Le inserts Nexplanon under the skin of your upper inner arm. Once inserted, Nexplanon begins to release a steady, low-dose hormone (progestin) that prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs each month.
With an effectiveness rate of over 99%, Nexplanon is one of the most effective types of birth control available. Because no eggs are released, fertilization can’t occur, and you don’t get pregnant.
The hormone in Nexplanon also causes your cervical mucus to thicken, which prevents sperm from traveling through your cervix.
Long acting and reversible
Your Nexplanon implant offers protection against pregnancy for three years. After that, you’ll need to have it replaced with a new implant to continue the birth control treatment.
Although the Nexplanon implant prevents pregnancy for three years, if you decide you would like to get pregnant sooner than that, you can ask Dr. Le to remove it. Nexplanon offers fully reversible contraception. You can get pregnant as soon as one week after the implant is taken out.
Before inserting Nexplanon, Dr. Le gives you a pregnancy test to make sure you’re not pregnant.
To insert the implant, she numbs your arm with medication. Then she uses a specially designed surgical applicator to insert it into the skin of your arm. Insertion takes less than a minute.
After insertion, you wear a pressure bandage for 24 hours and an ordinary bandage for several days.
Depending on where you are in your menstrual period, pregnancy protection begins either immediately or within a week. Dr. Le will let you know whether you need to use condoms or another form of birth control temporarily.
Safe for most women
Although most women can use Nexplanon safely, it’s not for everybody. For example, Dr. Le may suggest a different kind of birth control if you have blood clots, liver disease, unexplained vaginal bleeding, or progestin-sensitive breast cancer.
Certain medications and herbal products could make Nexplanon less effective, so be sure to tell Dr. Le about all of the prescription and over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and herbal products you’re taking.
Potential side effects
Most women have no side effects from Nexplanon. However, some women experience changes in menstrual bleeding, such as less bleeding, more bleeding, spotting between periods, or no bleeding at all. The time between periods may vary also.
It’s also important for you to remember that Nexplanon does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you are concerned about STDs, condoms may provide better protection.
To learn more about whether Nexplanon is the right form of birth control for you, call one of the offices of Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care, or book an appointment online.