Is Nexplanon A Safe Birth Control Implant?


What are birth control implants?

A contraceptive implant is an implantable medical device used to prevent future pregnancy. The implant may depend on the timed release of hormones to hinder ovulation or sperm development, the ability of copper to act as a natural spermicide within the uterus, or it may work using a non-hormonal, physical blocking mechanism. 


As with other contraceptives, a contraceptive implant is designed to prevent pregnancy but does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. Due to its unpopularity, many women are curious about Nexplanon’s efficacy in preventing pregnancy. 


How does Nexplanon birth control implant work?

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 fertilise. When eggs aren’t released, you can’t get pregnant.


Can Nexplanon prevent STIs?

No, it doesn't protect against STIs. Luckily, using condoms or female condoms every time you have sex does lower your chances of getting or spreading STIs. So using condoms with Nexplanon is the best way to prevent infections.


What is the procedure for removing Nexplanon?

You will lie on your back with your non-dominant arm out and bent up so your hand is near your head. Your healthcare provider will feel the area to find the implant.


If they cannot feel the implant, an X-ray or ultrasound will show the exact location. Your healthcare provider will mark the area where the implant is located on your arm. You will be given a shot of local anaesthesia to numb the area.


One end of the implant will be pressed down so the other end lifts and a small incision will be made near the lifted end. A gentle push will be applied on the implant towards the incision until the tip is sent afterwards pulled out.


Overall, you should feel completely normal after getting your implant taken out. Your arm may feel tender or swollen around the implant for a few days. It may look bruised. You will be given a detailed explanation of how to wash and care for your skin after removal.


How much is Nexplanon in Nigeria?

It costs around #10,000 and more. It’s not as popular as other birth control implants.


What are the side effects of using Nexplanon?

  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • It doesn’t protect against STIs
  • Some women may experience depression whilst using this implant
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse due to regular spotting
  • Breast pains
  • Acne
  • Hair loss


Birth control implants are generally safe. However, they all come with different side effects. Nexplanon is an excellent option for the long-term prevention of pregnancy. It’s cost-effective but doesn’t prevent common STIs. Before moving ahead, ensure you discuss this with your medical provider to know your pros and cons. 

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