The implant (Nexplanon® is the brand name; previously Implanon) is a small, flexible, matchstick-sized rod that’s placed under the skin of your upper arm for up to 3 years. It can be placed and removed at any time by your healthcare provider. This method uses a lower dose of hormones than other methods. How it works: The implant releases a steady, low dose of a synthetic hormone (called progestin) into the bloodstream that keeps the ovaries from releasing eggs and thickens cervical mucus—which helps block sperm from getting to the egg in the first place.
Lasts up to 3 Years
› No STI Protection
The implant does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV (if left untreated, can cause AIDS). You should use a condom each time you have sex to prevent STIs.
› Get it and forget it
If you’re a busy person who doesn’t want to worry about remembering birth control, the implant just may be for you. Once it’s in, it lasts for up to three years. The implant usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes to place in your arm, and it can be removed at any time you want by your healthcare provider.
› Hands free
There are 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 packaging, and nothing you need to do just before you have sex.
› Safe and sound
Most folks are good candidates for the implant. That’s true even if you’re young, have never been pregnant, or haven’t had kids yet. Talk to your healthcare provider about what’s right for you.
› The pregnancy question
Your ability to get pregnant will return immediately after the implant is removed. But if you’re not ready to get pregnant as soon as you have the implant taken out, be sure to protect yourself with an alternate method.
› Lighter periods
Some people experience lighter or no periods after a year. But for many people who are on hormonal birth control, it is very safe to not have a period.
› Yes, there is a needle involved
Your healthcare provider will most likely use a needle to numb your arm before placing the Implant. If you’re really that scared of needles, then check out another method.
› First Months & Beyond…
Most people adjust to having an Implant pretty quickly but give yourself time. After getting the Implant, you may experience irregular bleeding and spotting for the first 6 to 12 months. Some folks experience bruising near their Implant site for the first week or two. If your bleeding, cramping or other side effects are still causing discomfort after 6 months, talk to your provider — you’re worth it!
› Have a back-up
The implant takes about 7 days to get working, so use a back-up method, like a condom, during that time.