The NEX Generation of Birth Control
Updated: Oct 8, 2021
The Nexplanon Implant is gaining popularity thanks to its extreme convenience and effectiveness. This long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) device is small and discreet while being over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for up to three years. There is no careful compliance (perfect use or human error) with this method leaving individuals feeling empowered to live their lives without worrying about unintended pregnancy.
How exactly does the Nexplanon work? It is a hormonal device about the size of a matchstick. A medical provider numbs the non-dominant arm and inserts the device just under the skin. The device slowly releases a hormone called progestin in order to prevent pregnancy from occurring. Progestin thickens the cervical mucus making it hard for the sperm to swim to the egg. There is also a good chance that progestin will safely stop ovulation. This means that no egg is released from the ovaries. Without the release of the egg, there is nothing for the sperm to implant and fertilize. If the device is inserted within the first five days of your period, you can immediately start having unprotected sex. If not, you will need to use another method of protection for a week while your body adjusts to the hormones. This device is only effective at preventing pregnancy; therefore, it does not protect against STIs. Condom use is highly recommended with this device.
This is a set it and forget it method. Unlike the pill or the shot, there is no need for going into the clinic every few months or worrying about a prescription. You won’t need to remember it daily. You just need to remember the month and year that you had it placed. When the three years of effectiveness is up, you simply have it replaced to continue preventing pregnancy. You do not have to keep the device in for the full three years if you do not want to continue use. You are at risk of pregnancy as soon as you remove the device. So at any point you can decide to move forward with planning your family by having it removed. To sign up for a text reminder to receive one text when your Nexplanon (or any other LARC method) will expire in a few years, you can click here or text REMIND ME to 615-551-1119.
As with every birth control, there are common side effects to be aware of with the Nexplanon. Because it is a hormonal birth control, it will likely shorten or stop your periods and lessen painful cramps associated with your period. It is proven to be perfectly safe for your body to not have a period as long as you are on a hormonal form of birth control. It also can cause headaches, breast pain, nausea, or weight gain. It is important to speak with your medical provider about all forms of birth control, your personal experiences with birth control, and your medical history before deciding on a method. If you are looking for a long acting, extremely effective but easily reversible method, the Nexplanon may be a good consideration.
To schedule a birth control consultation with a provider to discuss if you would like a Nexplanon, please call us at 615-671-STEP(7837), if you are a Middle Tennessee resident or student.
Written by: Ashley Hullett