Implanon (Nexplanon) Insertion – Birth Control Implant

Implanon is a birth control implant that consists of one thin flexible capsule which is inserted under the skin of a woman’s upper arm. The capsule is about 1.5 inches long and is filled with progestin which provides effective contraception for up to 3 years. It came to the US market in 2006 to replace norplant which is another form of birth control implant that is no longer available in the United States. Currently implanon is the only birth control implant that is available in the United States.

How it Works

The birth control implant is available from health care provider. The implant is performed by physicians by making a small incision in the upper under arm and using a pre-loaded applicator the implanon is inserted under the skin. The physicians will determine when is the best time to insert the implant depending on your menstrual cycle.

If the implant is inserted during the first 5 days after your menstrual cycle begins, the implant should provide effective contraception immediately. The implant can be removed at any time and removing the implant is also performed by the physicians after the end of the cycle.

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The implanted capsules work by slowly releasing progestin into the blood stream over the period of 3 years to provide effective contraception. The progestins released from the capsules prevent ovaries from releasing eggs which prevents egg fertilization from occurring and without fertilization there can be no pregnancy.

The progestin also thickens the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering into the uterus and it also thins the lining of the uterus to prevent the released egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus.


Once the capsule is implanted under the skin it can provide effective contraception over the period of 3 years without having to worry about taking pill or using different method of contraceptives. Implanon provides effective contraception because the release of progestin is constant throughout the day and it is very unlikely for women to get pregnant while using the implant.

Women who are sensitive to estrogen or cannot use estrogen contraceptive can switch to this method. The birth control implant can be removed at anytime and if you decide to get pregnant, the process can be reversed within few days after the removal of the implant.


The birth control implant does not provide full protection against sexually transmitted diseases. The implant is expensive and it may cost about $1,000 or more and it has several side effects. Some of the most common side effects experience by some women may include irregular bleeding, heavy bleeding, prolonged bleeding, or no bleeding at all and these side effects decreases after the first three months of use.

Removing the implant early can also results in side effects and these may include headaches, cramps, nausea, and weight gain. Removing the implant may also cause scarring and nerve damage. Forgetting to replace the implants after 3 years can result in unwanted pregnancy.

The implant cannot be use if you are already pregnant, have breast cancer or liver disease. The use of certain antibiotic medication or herbal supplement can interfere with the effectiveness of birth control implant.

Return from Implanon to Contraception

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