Nexplanon Birth Control Implant
What is a Nexplanon Birth Control Implant
Nexplanon is a form of birth control that is administered via a radiopaque rod that is inserted into the skin of your upper arm. This small plastic rod contains of the hormone etonogestrel that is time-released over the course of up to three years.
Like other forms of birth control, Nexplanon prevents ovulation – the release of an egg from the ovary- through soliciting a physiological change. By causing changes in cervical mucus and the uterine lining, Nexplanon creates an environment in which it is harder for a sperm to reach the uterus and for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterine wall.
Though they are plastic, Nexplanon rods contain a small amount of barium sulfate which enables them to be seen by x-ray.
Important facts about Nexplanon Birth Control Implant
Nexplanon is a form of contraception, it is not intended for use if you are pregnant or have recently had a baby.
It is not recommended to use if you have any of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Undiagnosed or untreated vaginal bleeding
- Liver disease or cancer
- Coronary artery disease
- High blood pressure
- Breast, vaginal, cervical, or uterine cancer
- Suffer from severe migraines
- Smoke and are over 35
- Have had birth control- or pregnancy-induced heart attack, stroke, blood clot, or jaundice
- Take certain types of hepatitis C medications
Taking Nexplanon can increase your risk of developing blood clots, having a stroke or heart attack. Risk levels are the highest within the first year of taking Nexplanon, but also increase if you suffer from diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or if you are overweight.
Smoking while taking birth control medications, especially in women over 35, increases the likelihood of developing further complications including blood clots, strokes or heart attacks. If you are over 35, you should not smoke if you are using a Nexplanon birth control implant.
Nexplanon Birth Control Implant Usage
As is a contraceptive implant, Nexplanon contains 68mg of etonogestrel. Using local anesthetic, the implant is inserted via a needle into the upper arm, just inside and above the elbow. Following insertion, you will need to keep the area covered for up to five days to keep it clean and dry.
Once inserted, you should be able to feel the Nexplanon implant under your skin. If you cannot feel the implant, consult with your doctor. Additionally, if your implant feels broke or bent while it is inserted, contact your doctor.
If you need to have major surgery with extended bedrest, or require extensive medical exams, you may need to temporarily remove your Nexplanon implant. Contact your doctor at least four weeks prior to discuss further.
Nexplanon birth control does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or infections, including HIV and AIDS. To be sure to protect yourself against any diseases, always use a condom.
Smoking while using Nexplanon birth control is not recommended.
What Happens if you Miss a Dose?
The Nexplanon birth control implant can stay in place up to three years. The chances of missing a dose are unlikely, unless you do not remove the implant by the end of the third year.
Side Effects of using Nexplanon Birth Control Implant
It is possible to develop an allergic reaction to Nexplanon. Seek emergency medical assistance if you are taking Nexplanon and expereince:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling to your face, lips, tongue, or throat
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:
- Signs of a blood clot
- Heart attack symptoms
- Signs of a stroke
- Increased blood pressure
- Breast lump
- Symptoms of depression, including sleeplessness, exhaustion, mood swings, and weakness
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Severe cramping or pain in your pelvic area (could be localized to one side)
- Warmth, redness, swelling, or oozing at the insertion site of the implant
Other side effects of Nexplanon include:
- Viral infections, including flu-like symptoms or sore throat
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Breast tenderness
- Breakthrough bleeding or menstrual cramps
- Irregular or missed periods
Health Benefits of Nexplanon Birth Control Implant
As a birth control implant, Nexplanon only contains the hormone progesterone, this provides an option for women with certain health conditions to have access to an effective birth control method. Other benefits include:
- Long-lasting birth control
- No worry about missing a dosage
- Periods can become lighter
- One-third of users report no periods after one year of use.
Nexplanon has a 3-star rating on Drugs.com, or 5.6 out of 10 average rating. Users are generally satisfied with the use of Nexplanon. The main complaint was prolonged periods of heavy bleeding. However, users commented that menstrual bleeding did taper, and menstruation became infrequent.
Nexplanon is not for everyone, contact your doctor to find out if Nexplanon is right for you.