Nexplanon is a contraceptive implant which contains a progestogen similar to that used in the popular mini pills Desogestrel and Cerazette. The insertion procedure only takes a couple of minutes, after which it can be left in for 3 years so it is an easy and convenient progestogen only option.
How long does it take for the Nexplanon implant to heal?
The time it takes your skin and bruising to improve following implant insertion may vary from person to person. A small adhesive bandage will be placed over the insertion site and a pressure bandage will be placed to minimise bruising. You may remove the pressure bandage in 24 hours and the small adhesive bandage over the insertion site in 3-5 days.
Can Nexplanon cause acne?
The implant contains the hormone progestogen which can increase the amount of oil (sebum) produced by the sebaceous glands of the skin leading to more spots. This affects women in varying amounts and many women don't notice a difference at all. Take a look at their reviews and experiences above to find out more. If you suffer from acne it may be worth considering stopping progestogen only contraception and switching to a combined method (combined hormonal contraception containing oestrogen is used as a treatment for acne) or non-hormonal method. Your doctor can also discuss medical treatments for acne with you. You can also read our guide to acne and the pill where we discuss the impact of hormonal contraception on skin.
Does Nexplanon make you gain or lose weight?
There is no proof that the implant causes weight gain. Women can put on weight while using the implant, but this is thought to be due to natural weight gain as part of ageing that would happen normally without contraception. You can also find out more in our guide to contraception and weight.
Can Nexplanon affect your hair?
The progestogen in hormonal contraception can cause hair loss and thinning, and can also increase sebum (oil) production from sebaceous glands in the skin which can cause greasy hair. Hair loss can have a myriad of causes, so consult your doctor for a diagnosis. You can also read more on our blog about contraception and hair loss.
Does the Nexplanon implant affect the menopause?
Hormonal contraception may mask (and help with) signs and symptoms of menopause. Menopause is usually diagnosed by the absence of periods, which can also be affected by the implant. If you wish to stop contraception because you think you may have gone through the menopause, speak to your doctor. They can advise you how best to do this. Read our guide to menopause and contraception to learn more.
How effective is the Nexplanon implant?
The implant is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, meaning that fewer than 1 out of 100 women who use the contraceptive implant for one year will get pregnant. You can read more in our related blog here .
How the Nexplanon implant works:
Nexplanon is a small flexible plastic rod that’s placed under the skin in your upper arm by a doctor or nurse. It releases the hormone progestogen gradually into your bloodstream which prevents pregnancy in three ways – stopping ovulation, making the fluid in your cervix thicker (which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb), and preventing the lining of your womb thickening enough for fertilised egg to implant in it.
Some medicines can make the implant less effective. Read our comprehensive guide to the implant here.
How to use the Nexplanon implant:
Your doctor or nurse will get you to lie down and inject the skin of the inside of your upper arm with local anaesthetic. This numbs the part of your upper arm where the Nexplanon implant will be inserted. They use an applicator-like pencil to put it in your arm - it will only take a few minutes to insert and feels similar to having an injection. You won’t need any stitches and your doctor or nurse will show you how to feel the implant with your fingers so that you can check it’s in place. We recommend wearing a loose top and obv don't expect to have an arm session at the gym the day after getting it fitted!
For more information about the insertion process, you can read our guide to getting the implant fitted.
You will need to get the implant replaced every 3 years.
How safe is the Nexplanon implant:
The Nexplanon implant is a really safe form of contraception. However, if you ever can't feel the implant, or feel as though it’s changed shape or become painful, you should go back to your doctor. Rarely you may get an infection in the skin of your arm after the implant is fitted.
It's important to remember that it does not protect you from STIs.;