Basic info

What is it?

Nexplanon is made of smooth plastic in the shape of a thin tube. It is placed under the skin of your upper arm during a procedure in the clinic. The implant is a very effective form of birth control that contains Etonogestrel, a progestin hormone. There is no estrogen in this implant. A week after the contraceptive implant is placed, it works for 3 years and prevents pregnancy in over 99% of women who use it.

How does it work?

The implant releases a steady flow of the Etonogestrel hormone into the body. This works to prevent pregnancy in 2 ways:

  1. Thickens the mucus of the cervix. This prevents sperm from reaching an egg.
  2. Stops the release of an egg, so any sperm that do pass the cervix never have the chance to meet an egg.

This is a reversible form of birth control, which means that it has no permanent effects on your ability to get pregnant.

Am I protected against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?

No, the implant does not protect you against STIs. You will need to use a separate barrier method of birth control (like condoms) to protect against STIs.

What menstrual bleeding changes can I expect?

Every woman’s body reacts differently to the implant. You will likely notice changes to your bleeding pattern in the first 3-6 months after placement. About 1 in 5 women stop having periods. About 1 in 5 have heavy or prolonged bleeding. Most other women just have light, but irregular bleeding. After 3-6 months, you should have a good idea of what your bleeding will be like with the implant in place.

It is normal to have spotting or irregular bleeding. If you are concerned or have questions about your bleeding at any point after the implant is placed, we recommend a follow-up with your healthcare provider.

What side effects might I experience?

Some of the most frequent possible side effects include headaches, vaginal irritation, weight increase, and acne. The average weight increase was only 3 pounds in the first year and 4 pounds after 2 years, and it is uncertain how much of this was due to the implant. Some less common possible side effects include emotional changes, depressive mood, nausea, and dizziness.

What are the risks of the procedure?

There will likely be a small scar at the site of the insertion and temporary bruising along the overlying skin. There is a risk of bleeding, pain, and infection. Most bleeding is minimal.

The procedure uses a local anesthetic to decrease the risk of pain. It is performed under sterile conditions to limit the risk of infection. Before the procedure, your doctor will go through a full explanation of risks.

Billing information

Each insurance plan is different, so we recommend that you call your insurance company prior to your appointment to ask about coverage for the procedure and any possible out-of-pocket expenses. If needed, here are the codes you can reference to your insurance company.

  • 11981- Insertion of the implant
  • 11982- Removal of the implant
  • 11983- Removal and reinsertion of the implant
  • J7307- Nexplanon Medication

If you do not want to have your parents’ insurance billed for any reason, you can apply for the Family Planning Plan with the state.

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