Nexplanon is a contraceptive implant that’s taken the term “set-it-and-forget-it” to whole new heights. Aside from convenience, it’s one of the most effective options on the market. The concept of implantable birth control is proof of the innovation driving contraceptive research today. Here’s a closer look into the Nexplanon implant and why women may be able to enjoy its benefits for a little longer in the near future.
How Does the Nexplanon Implant Work?
The Nexplanon birth control implant is a long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) method. LARC means it lasts for several years and if you want to get pregnant or if you want to stop using it, you can have it removed at any time. The implant is a flexible, plastic rod the size of a matchstick that your provider inserts under the skin in the upper arm. It releases progestin into the body. The implant is approved for up to 3 years of use.
The progestin in the implant prevents pregnancy mainly by stopping eggs from leaving the ovaries. The hormone also makes changes in the cervix and uterus that include:
- Thickening of the mucus of the cervix, which makes it harder for sperm to reach the egg.
- Thinning the lining of the uterus, which affects implantation.
Is Nexplanon Safe? How Effective is it, Really?
The implant protects against pregnancy right away if it is placed within 5 days of the start of your menstrual period. If it’s inserted more than 5 days after starting your period, you should use a backup method, such as a condom, or avoid intercourse for the next 7 days.
The Nexplanon implant is one of the most effective forms of birth control because it has a 0.1% failure rate. This means that 1 in 1,000 people using the birth control implant will become pregnant in a year. Additional benefits of using Nexplanon:
- No one can tell you’re using it. You cannot see the implant, but you can still feel it.
- It can be inserted immediately after an abortion, a miscarriage, or childbirth.
- It’s safe to use while breastfeeding.
- There’s no interference with sex or daily activities.
- Only a few medical conditions prevent its use.
- It can reduce menstrual period pain.
Do You Love Your Nexplanon Implant, but Aren’t Ready to Give it Up?
The Nexplanon implant is currently only approved for use for up to 3 years. However, researchers are currently evaluating extending its use for an additional 2. Although the results thus far look promising, it will still take some time until all the data is reviewed and submitted to the FDA for approval.
If you currently have the Nexplanon implant and are interested in extending its duration, clinical research studies may be an option. Contact Seattle Clinical Research Center at (206) 522-3330 or visit our website for additional details and application today!