Nexplanon® is a contraceptive implant that provides long-acting and highly effective birth control. Here are some key points to understand about Nexplanon:
- Implant Description:
- The implant is a small, flexible rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm.
- It contains etonogestrel, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, which is gradually released into the bloodstream over a period of up to three years.
- The implant is radiopaque, meaning it can be detected on an X-ray, which helps with its proper placement and removal.
- Nexplanon® is one of the most effective forms of contraception, with a failure rate of less than 1%.
- It provides continuous pregnancy protection for up to three years, making it a convenient option for those who prefer long-acting birth control without the need for daily pill administration or frequent visits for injections.
- Mechanism of Action:
- Nexplanon® primarily works by preventing ovulation, the release of an egg from the ovaries, thereby inhibiting pregnancy.
- It also thickens cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg, and thins the uterine lining, reducing the likelihood of implantation.
- Insertion and Removal:
- The implant is inserted by a healthcare provider during a simple outpatient procedure.
- Local anesthesia is used to numb the area before the implant is placed just under the skin of the inner side of the upper arm.
- Removal is also performed by a healthcare provider and involves making a small incision to locate and remove the implant.
- The procedure is relatively quick and straightforward, usually taking only a few minutes. Dr Carla Williams has special expertise in the insertion and removal of the implant.
- Benefits and Considerations:
- Highly effective contraception: Nexplanon offers reliable and reversible birth control.
- Convenience: Once inserted, there is no need for daily administration or frequent visits for contraceptive maintenance.
- Reversibility: Fertility generally returns quickly after the implant is removed.
- Side effects: Common side effects include changes in menstrual bleeding patterns, such as irregular bleeding, spotting, or even absence of periods. Other less common side effects include headaches, mood changes, breast tenderness, and weight changes.
- Medical considerations: Nexplanon may not be suitable for everyone, and it is important to discuss your medical history, current medications, and any specific health concerns with a healthcare provider to determine if it is a suitable contraceptive option for you.
It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to discuss the benefits, potential side effects, and any specific considerations regarding Nexplanon. They can provide personalized advice, address your questions or concerns, and help you make an informed decision about your contraception options.