Nexplanon is a small device, about the size and shape of a matchstick, that is inserted just under the skin at the inner side of a woman's upper arm. It slowly releases hormones that prevent pregnancy, similar to those found in birth control pills. Nexplanon lasts for 3 years. Many women choose this form of birth control because they do not have to remember to take a pill every day. Nexplanon does not prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, so condoms are recommended with new partners. If you think that Nexplanon is right for you, make an appointment with one of the gynecologists at San Francisco Women’s Healthcare for a consultation and insertion.
Nexplanon is one of the most effective forms of birth control, with measured pregnancy prevention rates of 99 percent. Part of the reason that Nexplanon is so effective is that there is little room for human error with this form of birth control. A doctor will inject it into a woman’s upper arm and after approximately 5 days, the hormones are fully effective and the woman can forget about it for the next 3 years until it is time to be replaced. Nexplanon devices can be removed and replaced during the same visit so that women do not experience any gaps in birth control coverage.
Yes, if a woman wants to have her Nexplanon implant removed before the device releases all of the hormones, she can have it removed by her gynecologist at any time. Fertility is typically back to normal within 5 days of the implant being removed.
A local anesthetic is used to numb the insertion area as part of preparation for implantation. The inner arm may be a little tender or bruised after the insertion, but the discomfort should ease fairly quickly.