There are so many options when it comes to choosing contraceptives it can make people’s heads spin. Let’s talk about the implant which is also called Implanon and Nexplanon by brand. It remains one of the most effective types of birth control currently available. The CDC currently states that only 0.05% out of 100 of individuals with this method will become pregnant over the first year of usage. With this method, a 4mm implant is inserted in the upper arm of your non dominant arm which will then release etonogestrel, a steroidal progestin hormone, to prevent pregnancy.


The actual insertion of the implant does not hurt and at most the numbing injection feels the equivalent of a flu shot. Although the insertion is not painful, it is easy to scare oneself as you see a big scary needle coming towards your arm. During the insertion there is a very mild tugging sensation as the needle is inserted in place but it is not uncomfortable and you’ll be surprised at how easily and quickly the entire procedure is done. There will be some bruising that will remain for about a week after the insertion but even the day of insertion there remains little to no discomfort. Best of all for this method of contraceptive is that after insertion there is no maintenance whatsoever! After insertion a wrap must stay on the arm for 24 hours and a bandage for three days as well; however, after this there is no maintenance as the site of insertion heals quickly. Seven days after insertion, the contraceptive becomes effective as well. There is no more reminding yourself to take a pill every day, or put on a patch, or take out a ring as the contraceptive does the work on its own, quietly in your arm.

Although this contraceptive may work for some people, others do find some aspect of it which will cause them to remove it early out of dissatisfaction. Usually it’s due to changes in menstrual bleeding as this remains the reason about 10% of individuals remove the implant early. There is a wide range of changes which are caused by the implant, from no menstrual bleeding whatsoever to much more menstrual bleeding. However, the implant does make menstrual bleeding much lighter and even if you are bleeding for more consecutive days, it will still remain lighter. This is for each person to decide if the implant’s effects are right for them as these changes to the menstrual cycle are not found to cause any health issues. It’s always good to know the side effects of hormonal contraceptives and decide which kind is best for you and your lifestyle.