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What is Nexplanon?

Nexplanon is a hormone-releasing birth control implant for use by young women to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years. The implant is a flexible plastic rod about the size of a toothpick that contains a progestin hormone called etonogestrel. Nexplanon does not contain estrogen. Your gynecologist will insert the implant just under the skin of the inner side of your upper arm during a clinic appointment. It does not work for birth control until 1 week after insertion.

What are the benefits of Nexplanon?

  • Does not require a pill/patch/ring or clinic visit for shots
  • Does not interfere with sexual activity
  • Offers non-estrogen containing methods

What are the most common side effects I can expect while using Nexplanon?

The most common side effect of is a change in your normal menstrual bleeding pattern. You may experience longer or shorter bleeding during your periods or have no bleeding at all. The time between periods may vary, and in between periods you may also have spotting.

Other side effects can include:

  • Acne
  • Weight change
  • Breast pain
  • Mood changes
  • Headache

What if I change my mind and want to stop using Nexplanon before 3 years?

Your gynecologist can remove the implant at any time, however, we ask you to keep the implant for a minimum of 6 months. You may become pregnant as early as the first week after removal of the implant. If you do not want to get pregnant after your gynecologist removes the Nexplanon implant, you should start another birth control method right away.

Call the clinic right away if you have:

  • Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swollen face, tongue or pharynx; trouble swallowing; or hives
  • Yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, especially with fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, or light-colored bowel movements
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding soaking a pad/tampon per hour for 3 hours in a row


This is not specific to you but provides general information.  If you have any questions, please ask the doctors or nurses. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit the Family Resource Center library.

Reviewed GYN 7/2017

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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