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Birth Control Implant

What is a birth control implant?

An implant is a small plastic rod that keeps you from getting pregnant. The Nexplanon® is about the size of a matchstick and goes just under the skin on the inside of your non-dominant arm.

How effective is the birth control implant?

The arm implant is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, meaning it fails less than 1% of the time. In fact, this method of birth control is more effective than all other short-term or reversible methods such as the pill, patch or condom.

The arm implant does not protect against STIs. Only condoms/barrier methods can protect against STIs.

How long does the birth control implant last?

The Nexplanon arm implant is FDA-approved to be over 99% effective for up to 3 years and can be removed as soon as you are ready to become pregnant and the return of fertility is rapid.

How does the birth control implant work?

The arm implant prevents pregnancy in several ways. It stops an egg from leaving the ovaries and it thickens cervical mucus which makes it difficult for sperm to move through the uterus.

Birth control implant side effects

The most common side effect of Nexplanon is a change in your normal menstrual bleeding pattern. Some women report mood swings, headache, acne, and depressed mood. Every person is different, talk to your doctor or nurse about potential side effects. 

Does the birth control implant make you gain weight?

Some women report weight gain while using Nexplanon. Every person is different, talk to your doctor or nurse about potential side effects. 

Birth control implant removal

The removal procedure is handled by your doctor in clinic and typically takes less than five minutes. If desired, a new implant can be placed as soon as the original one is removed.

Other common questions with the birth control arm implant

Does the implant contain estrogen?

The Nexplanon arm implant does not contain estrogen.

Birth control implant vs. IUD

Your doctor should talk you through the best method of birth control for you.


The arm implant and IUD are both forms of long-acting reversible contraception. Both are over 99% effective and are placed by a provider.

While the IUD is placed inside of the uterus, the implant is placed under the skin in your upper arm.

While the Nexplanon arm implant must be removed after 3 years, some IUD devices can last up to 5-10 years.

While the arm implant works only with hormones, the IUD has both hormonal and a non-hormonal option.

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