Birth Control Implant

What Is It?

The birth control implant is a thin, flexible plastic implant about the size of a cardboard matchstick. It is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. The implant is available under the brand names Implanon and Nexplanon.

How Does It Work?

The birth control implant releases a hormone — progestin. Hormones are chemicals made in our bodies. They control how different parts of our bodies work. It keeps eggs from leaving the ovaries. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is any egg to join with the sperm.
making a woman’s cervical mucus thicker. This keeps sperm from getting to the eggs.

How Do I Use It?

Your health care provider will numb a small area of your arm with a painkiller. The birth control implant is inserted under the skin. Insertion takes only a few minutes. After insertion, be sure to tell any health care provider you may see that you are using the birth control implant.

Can I Take It Out?

Yes! The implant can be removed at any time. Your health care provider will numb the area with a painkiller and will usually make one small cut to remove the implant. Removal usually takes just a few minutes, but it generally takes longer than insertion. A new implant may be inserted at this time. Pregnancy can happen anytime after the implant is removed.

How Much $$$?

Costs between $0 and $800 up front, but lasts up to 4 years.

Is It Effective?

The birth control implant is very effective. Less than 1 out of 100 women a year will become pregnant using the implant.

What’s The Side Effects?

  • change in sex drive
  • discoloring or scarring of the skin over the implant
  • headache
  • rarely, an infection or pain in the arm
  • nausea
  • pain at the insertion site
  • sore breasts
  • weight gain
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