Nexplanon Insertion: What To Expect With Birth Control Implants

There is a variety of contraceptive options out there, and it's important to consider them all to make an informed decision for your body. Some of the more talked about contraceptives are birth control and intrauterine devices (IUDs). However, an alternative that you might not have heard of is the Nexplanon birth control implant. Nexaplanon has some unique qualities that could make it a better choice for your specific needs over other contraceptives.

According to the Nexplanon website, the method is more than 99% effective for up to 3 years once inserted. If you are likely to forget to take a daily pill, the Nexplanon implant could be an easy way to mitigate the risks of this. If you're unable to take hormonal contraceptives with estrogen, the implant is often a safe choice, as it only uses progestin. While there are many benefits to Nexplanon, like all medication and procedures, it has a mix of side effects and risks to weigh before use.

How the Nexplanon implant works

Nexplanon as a form of birth control that is implanted beneath the skin and releases the hormone progestin. This implant evokes two processes in the body to prevent pregnancy — it thickens your cervical mucus, stopping sperm from reaching your egg, and it prevents ovulation. However, one less appealing feature of this birth control method is the surgery it requires.

While it may sound intimidating, the surgery is typically very short and involves minimal pain. To start the procedure, your medical provider will first numb the tissue between your bicep and tricep muscles. Once this is complete, they will insert the implant into the same spot. The implant is a small pliable plastic bar. Most people do not feel the actual injection of Nexaplanon — only the small nipping sensation of the numbing injection. However, it's important to talk to your doctor about your medical history before opting for this form of birth control. Certain preexisting conditions might rule out Nexplanon for you.

Side effects of Nexplanon to consider

If you are looking for a contraceptive implant but want to avoid the pain of an IUD procedure, the Nexaplanon surgery is reportedly very tame. However, there are some post-procedure side effects to be mindful of. A clinical review of Nexplanon published by Organ Global Inc. reports that following an implant, you may experience hematoma, bruising, pain, and swelling. Soreness often lasts for a few days, and your arm may appear discolored or swollen for up to two weeks.

The hormonal birth control itself has some side effects to consider as well. Some of the milder side effects include acne, irregular bleeding, headaches, and stomach pain. A few of the more alarming side effects include blood clotting, ovarian cysts, and depression. If a patient experiences these side effects, they often stop a few months after implantation. That being said, there is an extensive list of potential risks to Nexplanon, and any side effects should be closely monitored. It's important to discuss these possibilities with your medical doctor before determining whether Nexplanon might be right for you.