How Effective Is The Birth Control Implant
Hormonal implants work more than 99% of the time. How do they stack up to other birth control methods?
- Intrauterine devices are also 99% effective.
- Birth control injections are 94% effective.
- The pill is 91% effective.
But none of these methods protect you from sexually transmitted diseases . Only condoms prevent STDs.
If You’re Under 16 Years Old
Contraception services are free and confidential, including for people under the age of 16.
If you’re under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist won’t tell your parents as long as they believe you fully understand the information you’re given, and your decisions.
Doctors and nurses work under strict guidelines when dealing with people under 16. They’ll encourage you to consider telling your parents, but they won’t make you.
The only time a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe you’re at risk of harm, such as abuse. The risk would need to be serious, and they would usually discuss this with you first.
Page last reviewed: 9 March 2021 Next review due: 9 March 2024
How Is The Nexplanon Implant Used
Nexplanon is inserted through a needle into the skin of your upper arm, just inside and above the elbow. After the implant is inserted, your arm will be covered with 2 bandages. Remove the top bandage after 24 hours, but leave the smaller bandage on for 3 to 5 days. Keep the area clean and dry.The timing of when you receive the Nexplanon implant depends on whether you were using birth control before, and what type it was. For more information about how quickly it works as a contraceptive see dosing information below.
You should be able to feel the implant under your skin. Tell your doctor if you cannot feel the implant at any time while it is in place.
The Nexplanon implant can remain in place for up to 3 years. If the implant is placed correctly, you will not need to use back-up birth control. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
You may have irregular and unpredictable periods while using Nexplanon. Tell your doctor if your periods are very heavy or long-lasting, or if you miss a period .
If you need major surgery or will be on long-term bed rest, or if you need medical tests, may need to have your Nexplanon implant removed for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you have a Nexplanon implant.
Have regular physical exams and mammograms, and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using this medicine.
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Before Taking This Medicine
Using a Nexplanon implant can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You are even more at risk if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or if you are overweight. Your risk of stroke or blood clot is highest during your first year of using this medicine.
Smoking can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. Your risk increases the older you are and the more you smoke.
Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, the Nexplanon implant should be removed if you plan to continue the pregnancy.
You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before receiving the implant.
You should not use hormonal birth control if you have:
a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot
unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor or
liver disease or liver cancer.
To make sure Nexplanon is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
an allergy to numbing medicines.
Nexplanon may not be as effective in women who are overweight.
The Nexplanon implant should not be used in girls younger than 18 years old.
Etonogestrel can pass into breast milk, but effects on the nursing baby are not known. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
How Soon Can I Get Pregnant After Nexplanon Is Removed
Immediately! The body becomes fertile as soon as Nexplanon is removed. With this said, however, keep in mind that youve had a long-acting form of birth control in your body . It can take up to 3 months for ovulation to return.
Nexplanon has also been working to thin the lining of your uterus, potentially making it more difficult for an embryo to implant immediately after Nexplanon is removed. It thickens back up quickly for most women , but it is best to give it a couple of cycles to recuperate. Dont be discouraged if pregnancy does not happen immediately, and keep in mind that pregnancy immediately of removal could carry a slightly increased risk for miscarriage.
If you have been using Nexplanon or other forms of birth control for many years, also keep in mind that age affects egg quality and chance of pregnancy. Every year after about age 25 your fertility slowly declines, making it ever so slightly more difficult to get pregnant as you age. Be patient with your body. Give it a full year of trying before considering infertility.
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Implant Insertion Appointment: What To Expect
A person needs to visit a doctors office, where the doctor will insert the flexible tube into their upper arm. People interested in having a Nexplanon implant should make sure that the doctor has experience in performing the procedure.
During the procedure, the doctor will make a small incision with a tool designed to insert Nexplanon. The procedure only takes a few minutes and does not require any downtime.
The doctor can insert the device at the same time as they remove an old one. To remove the device, they will administer a local anesthetic to the area, make a small incision underneath the implant, and grip the device with forceps to pull it out gently.
A range of healthcare professionals and birth control services offer Nexplanon and other birth control options online.
How Long Does Nexplanon Last Once Its Inserted
Once a Nexplanon implant is inserted, its approved by the Food and Drug Administration for up to 3 years of use. Research suggests the implant may still be effective in preventing pregnancy for up to 5 years.
You may have Nexplanon removed sooner than 3 years. For example, you might want to remove the implant if youre planning a pregnancy or having bothersome side effects. But you must have it removed by the end of the third year after insertion.
For more about when to have a Nexplanon implant removed, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
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How Effective Is The Implant At Preventing Pregnancy
The implant is a very effective method of long-acting contraception, and while no form of contraception is completely failsafe, using it makes the risk of getting pregnant far less likely.
It is estimated that 84% of people with a womb would get pregnant within a year if they had regular, unprotected intercourse.3
For people using the contraceptive implant, the chances of getting pregnant are less than 1%, providing the implant has been in place for less than three years.4 So, for every 100 people with an implant having intercourse, less than one will become pregnant over the course of one year.
This number is similar to the efficacy of the combined oral contraceptive pill .
While your implant is in place, it releases a steady amount of the hormone progesterone. However, the amount it releases decreases slightly year on year. This is why it needs replacing after three years. Research has shown that during this three-year period, the implant becomes no less effective at preventing pregnancy, however.5
According to available evidence, neither body weight nor BMI affects the effectiveness of the implant.6
Other methods of contraception including the copper coil, the Mirena coil, and the contraceptive injection, all have similar failure rates to the implant. If you compare this to the withdrawal method, which has a 27% rate of pregnancy within a year when used typically,7 you will see why this is not a recommended method of contraception.
What Happens If Youre Pregnant On Nexplanon
If you are pregnant while on Nexplanon than you have higher chances that you pregnancy will be ectopic than the women who do not use birth control. Ectopic Ectopic pregnancy A condition where fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus. pregnancy occurs when the fertilized eggs gets attached to any place other than the uterus .
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Nexplanon And Other Forms Of Birth Control
Nexplanon is a form of hormonal birth control thats implanted in your arm. Its approved to help prevent pregnancy.*
You shouldnt need to use any other forms of birth control when youre using Nexplanon unless:
- its the first week after your doctor implants Nexplanon
- you need to take certain medications
In these cases, talk with your doctor about the best form of birth control for you.
* For more information about Nexplanon and pregnancy, see the Nexplanon and pregnancy section above. To learn more about how Nexplanon is inserted, see the Nexplanon insertion and removal section above. For details about these medications, see the Nexplanon interactions section above.
Frequently Asked Questions On Using Nexplanon
Can Nexplanon be used while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding women can make use of Nexplanon if four weeks have passed since she has had the baby. The hormone in Nexplanon can be passed on to into the milk, but the amount is very small. There has been a study on the health of children who were breastfed while the mothers were using Nexplanon, and no effects on development and growth were seen. Breastfeeding women must use this contraceptive in consultation with the physician.
What if a woman gets pregnant while she is using Nexplanon?
Such women must meet the doctor as soon as possible. It will be necessary to remove the implant and ensure that the pregnancy isnt ectopic. Nexplanon isnt likely to cause birth defects based on the experience with other hormonal contraceptives.
What if birth control is needed for more than three years?
Nexplanon has to be removed after three years. But if you still need this contraception, then a new implant can be added at the time of removing the old one.
- What happens if a woman changes her mind and wants to stop using Nexplanon before the end of three years?
- The implant can be removed at any time, and a woman can become pregnant as early as the 1st-week post removal. If you dont want to get pregnant after removal, then you must look at other options for birth control.
Who should not be using NEXPLANON®?
Women with the following issues must not use NEXPLANON®.
More Q& A answered by Nexplanon Specialist:
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When To Remove A Contraceptive Implant If You Are Pregnant
Equally, if you develop stomach pain, you must see your doctor urgently to rule out any chance of an ectopic pregnancy. There is good evidence to show that implants do not cause birth defects and will not cause harm to a developing pregnancy. However, it is suggested that in this situation the implant is removed as soon as possible. 6
What To Expect At The Doctor’s Office
Then they’ll use a tool that pushes the rod in through a needle. That wonât hurt. It feels like a little bit of tugging. The process may take less than a minute.
Afterward, you should be able to feel the implant under your skin but not see it.
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How Much Does A Birth Control Implant Cost
How much youll pay for a birth control implant depends on whether or not youre insured.
The Affordable Care Act requires that birth control is covered without a copayment or coinsurance, regardless of your plan type and whether youve met your annual deductible. Other services, however, like administration and fees of the insertion or removal of an implant are not specified in the ACA.
According to the Planned Parenthood site, the birth control implant can cost up to $1,300, but its often covered for free under health insurance plans.
Removal of the implant can cost up to $300, but that too may be covered for free under health insurance plans. Prices can change unexpectedly, so if you have any questions, its best to ask before your visit.
Most people who have Medicare or Medicaid dont pay anything at all for the implant. Those that do have to pay an out-of-pocket share may pay up to $1,030, which is the current list price for the device.
If you dont have insurance, the ACA Marketplace offers private insurance plans for people who dont have coverage through their employer. Birth control is covered by the plans sold on the marketplace.
If you dont have insurance and dont qualify for Medicaid, you may still be able to get the implant at a lower cost or even for free.
Many family planning clinics and health centers have programs that can help you pay for the implant. For example:
- LGBTQIA+ centers
Consult with a healthcare professional right away if you:
Are There Any Side Effects From Implantable Contraception
Contraceptive implants can sometimes cause such side effects as:
- irregular periods or no periods
- heavier or lighter periods
Some of these side effects may go away after a few months.
Sometimes there can be irritation, infection, or scarring where the tube was placed.
Implantable contraception increases the risk of blood clots. Blood clots can lead to serious problems with the lungs, heart, and brain. Smoking cigarettes while using the implant can increase the risk of blood clots. Don’t smoke if you use implantable contraception or another form of hormonal birth control.
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What Are The Chances Of Pregnancy After Implant Removal
Like the combined pill and other contraceptive methods, the implant has no impact on your fertility. Once the contraceptive implant is removed, your normal level of fertility will return and you will be at risk of pregnancy. The only contraceptive that shows a link with a delayed return to fertility after use is the injection but dont worry, its only short-term. After 2 years there is no significant difference in pregnancy rates when compared with users of non-hormonal contraception. Check our our blog on contraception and the return of fertility after stopping.
Where Can I Get Implantable Contraception
Implantable contraception is only available from a doctor or other medical professional who has been trained to insert it. When the doctor can insert the implant depends on when you had your last period and what type of birth control you currently use.
After numbing the inside of your upper arm, the doctor will use a small needle to insert the tube under the surface. The whole process only takes a few minutes. After the tube is in, don’t do any heavy lifting for a few days. You’ll have a bandage on for a few days after the procedure.
A health care professional must remove the tube after 3 years. It cannot be left in the arm, even after it is no longer working. The health care professional numbs the area, makes a small cut in the arm, and pulls out the tube. The tube can be removed any time after insertion there’s no need to wait the full 3 years.
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Nexplanon Does Not Protect Against Sexually Transmitted Infections Use Condoms To Reduce The Risk Of Stis
The most common side effect of NEXPLANON® is irregular bleeding, especially during the first 6 to 12 months of use. For many women, periods become fewer and lighter, or may stop altogether.
Getting a NEXPLANON® implant at University Health Services requires two appointments. At the first appointment, youll meet with a healthcare provider to determine if NEXPLANON® is right for you. Youll discuss insurance coverage, the insertion process, and what to expect during and after the procedure. At the second appointment, your healthcare provider will insert NEXPLANON®.
To discuss NEXPLANON® as a possible method of contraception for you, call to make an appointment with a healthcare provider in the Gynecology clinic.
What To Expect After Nexplanon Insertion
For starters, its important to mention that Nexplanon is an improved version of its predecessor Implanon. In that sense, the Nexplanon implant is completely visible on X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, etc. Whats more, the applicator used to insert Nexplanon is considerably more efficient to operate as well.
Now, what to expect after Nexplanon insertion in terms of effectiveness? This particular birth control method is known to be 99.9% effective, making it one of the best contraceptives available today.
But can Nexplanon stop working early? While the implant wont just break on its own, its important to mention that it may be less effective in women who are overweight. In that respect, it might be necessary to replace the implant sometime after the second year of having it instead of waiting for the full three years to pass. This is because a higher BMI in overweight women lowers the number of active hormones in the blood.
Also, the common antibiotics shouldnt affect the effectiveness of Nexplanon. However, TB and meningitis antibiotics, as well as some HIV and epilepsy meds could lessen the effectiveness of this birth control. This doesnt mean that Nexplanon can stop working early, but its worth being a bit more careful with pregnancy protection. Also, taking herbal meds containing St Johns Wort could lower the implants effectiveness.