There are many different types of birth control to consider when discussing contraceptive options with your doctor. One device that is safe, effective and convenient to use, is the birth control implant.  The common brand name affiliated with the birth control implant, is Nexplanon. This device is a matchstick-size rod insert that is placed inside the arm to protect a woman against pregnancy.  This thin, flexible insert cannot be felt once in place, and just like the patch, pill, and hormonal IUD, once it is in place, it releases progestin, a hormone that controls certain function within the female body. In this case, the hormone keeps the eggs from leaving the ovaries and makes a woman’s cervical mucus thicker. These two safeguards keep  the sperm from reaching the eggs.

Birth Control Implant

The birth control implant typically lasts for up to 3 years.   Some of the benefits of this form of contraception, are that it is very easy to use, it is convenient, it provides continuous birth control without sterilization for a long period of time, and there is not a daily act or routine to follow. This type of birth control allows for spontaneity because nothing needs to take place before vaginal intercourse. In addition, for women who wish to become pregnant, once the implant is removed, the ability to conceive returns quickly.

This method of birth control is very safe to use. However, it the effectiveness may be diminished with the use of certain antibiotics and drugs.  If a woman takes estrogen or has had breast cancer in the past, or currently, they should not use the birth control implant as a form of contraception.

The side effects associated with the implant are similar in nature to the side effects associated with other hormone-released contractive. These may include irregular bleeding, spotting, nausea, weight gain, sore breasts, and headache.  These often go away over time and as the body accepts and adjusts to the hormone.  There may be some discoloration and pain at the insertion site, but this often goes away as well.

A woman can get the insert by making an appointment with her gynecologist.  The birth control implant is inserted under the skin during an in-office visit and only requires a numbing solution at the insertion spot.  The insertion process takes only a few minutes and can be removed at anytime.

Please contact the office of the Women’s Specialists of Plano, a group of gynecologists servicing the greater north Dallas area, for additional resources on available birth control options, or to learn more about the birth control implant known as Nexplanon.


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