The birth control implant (AKA Nexplanon®) is a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick. The implant releases hormones into your body that prevent you from getting pregnant. A doctor inserts the implant into your arm and that’s it — you’re protected from pregnancy for up to 3 years. It’s get-it-and-forget-it birth control.
How does the implant work?
The birth control implant is a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick. It’s also called Nexplanon®. A doctor inserts the implant under the skin of your upper arm. It releases the hormone progestin to stop you from getting pregnant.
The hormones in the birth control implant prevent pregnancy in two ways:
- Progestin thickens the mucus on your cervix, which stops sperm from swimming through to your egg. When sperm can’t meet up with an egg, pregnancy can’t happen.
- Progestin can also stop eggs from leaving your ovaries (called ovulation), so there’s no egg to fertilize. When eggs aren’t released, you can’t get pregnant.
The implant lasts for a long time — up to 3 years — but it’s not permanent. If you decide you want to get pregnant or you just don’t want to have your implant anymore, your doctor can take it out. You’re able to get pregnant quickly after the implant is removed.
Does the implant prevent STDs?
No. Nexplanon® doesn't protect against STDs. Using condoms every time you have sex does lower your chances of getting or spreading STDs. So using condoms with your implant is the best way to prevent infections.
How effective is the implant?
The implant is a very effective method of birth control — it’s more than 99% effective. That means fewer than 1 out of 1000 people who use Nexplanon® will get pregnant each year.
The implant is so effective because there's no chance of making a mistake. Since it’s in your arm, you can’t forget to take it, or use it incorrectly. It protects you from pregnancy all day, every day for up to 3 years. If you decide you want to get pregnant, a doctor can take it out and you can get pregnant right away.
The implant doesn’t protect you from STDs, so use condoms along with the implant to help protect you from both pregnancy and STDs.
How long does it take for the birth control implant to work?
If you get Nexplanon® during the first 5 days of your period, you’re protected from pregnancy right away.
If you get the implant at any other time in your cycle, use some other form of birth control (i.e. condoms) during the first week. After that first week, the implant starts working and you’re protected from pregnancy for up to 3 years.
How can I get the birth control implant?
It is not yet available in Canada. We will update this website as soon as it becomes available. Once it becomes available, you will need a prescription. You will be able to get one from either the clinic or from your family doctor or a walk-in clinic. You will be able to pick-up Nexplanon® at a pharmacy and bring it with you to the clinic. There is a pharmacy right beside the clinic and you will be able to get your prescription filled there.
How much does a birth control implant cost?
The cost of the Nexplanon® has not yet been determined. As soon as the price is made public we will update the website.
How is the implant inserted?
First, your doctor or nurse will ask you some questions about your health to see if the implant — also called Nexplanon®— is a good method for you.
The doctor gives you a shot to numb a small area of your arm. Then, they use a special inserter tool to slide the implant under your skin. Putting the implant in only takes a few minutes.
How does it feel to get an implant inserted?
Most people just feel a little pinch or stinging when they get the numbing shot. After that, you shouldn’t be able to feel the implant being inserted. After the pain medication has worn off, your arm may ache a little where the implant was inserted, but it goes away quickly.
You may have some tenderness or swelling around the implant for a few days and it may look bruised for a week or two. Your doctor will tell you how to wash and take care of the skin around your implant for the first couple of days.
How soon after getting the implant can I have sex?
You can have sex right away after getting the implant. But if you don’t get the implant during the first 5 days of your period, you should use some other type of birth control (i.e. condoms) for the first week after getting your implant. (If you do get the implant during the first 5 days of your period, you’re protected from pregnancy right away.)
What are the risks of using the birth control implant?
Serious problems with Nexplanon® are rare, but they include arm pain that lasts for longer than a few days, an infection in the arm that needs medicine, or a scar on your arm where the implant goes.
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following while using Nexplanon®:
- Bleeding, pus, redness, or pain in your arm where the implant was inserted that doesn’t go away
- Yellowing of your eyes and skin
- Much heavier or longer than normal bleeding from your vagina
- The implant seems to have moved
You can always call the clinic with any concerns about your implant. They can help with any questions you may have.
Is it safe to use the implant while breastfeeding?
Yes, it’s safe to use the implant while you’re breastfeeding. It shouldn’t have any effect on how much milk you produce, and it won’t hurt your baby. In fact, the implant is a great method to use if you’re breastfeeding and you don’t want to get pregnant.
Birth Control implants are SUPER effective.
Nexplanon® gives you great, long-term protection against pregnancy — it’s more than 99% effective. The implant works as well as sterilization and IUDs.
Implants are one of the most effective methods you can get because you can’t forget to use it or use it incorrectly. Implants are “set-it-and-forget-it” birth control.
The implant is convenient and private.
Once your Nexplanon® is in, you barely have to think about it — it works until it expires or you have it taken out. That means no trips to the pharmacy, no pill to take or ring to put in, and nothing you have to do before sex to prevent pregnancy. Most of the time you can’t see the implant under your skin, so nobody knows you have it unless you tell them.
Implants make your periods better.
Nexplanon® can help cut down on period cramps. It also makes your period lighter — and 1 in 3 people with the implant stop getting their periods at all after a year.
Implants only have one hormone.
Many hormonal birth control methods contain two hormones, estrogen and progestin. Some people with certain health problems can’t use methods that contain estrogen. Nexplanon® is super effective at preventing pregnancy AND it’s estrogen-free, so more people are able to use it.
You can get pregnant after taking out your implant.
Nexplanon® is reversible. If you decide you want to get pregnant, you can get it removed at any time. The birth control implant won’t affect your fertility or make it harder to get pregnant in the future. In fact, it’s possible to get pregnant as soon as your implant is out.
The implant can have negative side effects.
Some people have side effects after getting Nexplanon®, but many adjust to the implant with few or no problems at all. Negative side effects usually go away after a few months, once your body gets used to your implant.
The most common side effect is irregular bleeding or spotting, especially in the first 6-12 months. Sometimes the implant causes long-term spotting, or periods get longer and heavier. But for most people, the implant makes their periods lighter — 1 in 3 people with the implant stop getting their periods at all after a year.
It’s totally safe to not get a period while you’re on Nexplanon®. And you don’t need to worry about being pregnant even if you don’t get a period, because the implant is really, really effective birth control. Other possible side effects that aren’t as common include:
- Breast pain
- Weight gain
- Ovarian cysts
- Pain or bruising where the implant was inserted
- An infection where the implant was inserted
Birth control implants don’t protect against STDs.
Birth control implants are one of the best methods of birth control out there, but they don’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections. It is important to use condoms every time you have sex to reduce your chances of getting or spreading STDs. So using condoms + Nexplanon® is the best way to protect yourself from pregnancy and STDs.
When should I get the birth control implant removed?
Nexplanon® works for 3 years, and a doctor must remove it once it expires. You can also get your implant taken out any time before then if you want to get pregnant or stop using it.
If you’ve had your implant for 3 years and you still don’t want to get pregnant, you need to replace it (or pick another birth control method). You can get a new implant when you have the old one removed.
How does it feel to get the birth control implant removed?
Nexplanon® removal only takes a few minutes, but the process is a little longer than getting it put in.
Just like with the insertion, a doctor gives you a shot to numb a small area of your arm. Then they make a small cut and remove the implant. You usually just feel a little pinch or stinging when you get the numbing shot. After that, it shouldn’t hurt when they make the incision or take the implant out.
If you want to continue using Nexplanon®, you can get another implant put in during the removal of your old one.
How soon can I get pregnant after getting the implant removed?
It's possible to get pregnant right away. If you get your implant removed and you don’t want to get pregnant, use another method of birth control.
What should I expect after I get my implant removed?
Overall, you should feel completely normal after getting your implant taken out. Your arm may feel tender or swollen around where the implant was for a few days. It may look bruised for a week or two. Your doctor will tell you how to wash and take care of your skin for a couple of days after removal.
Unless you start another hormonal birth control method after removing the implant, your period will go back to how it was before you got Nexplanon®