Some Nexplanon reviews will tell you that it’s one of the best contraceptive methods because it allows for sexual spontaneity and doesn’t require daily dosing.
If you don’t like the headache of trying to remember to take a pill every day or dealing with the dreaded pregnancy scare, these benefits may have you already wanting to jump on the bandwagon.
But hold your horses. Before you decide to get the treatment, it’s vital to understand what you’re getting yourself into. That way, you’ll know what to expect and whether or not it’s the best option for you. So, what is it?
What Is Nexplanon?
Nexplanon, a new version of Implanon, is a birth control implant about the size of a matchstick. This implant is placed into your arm by a licensed physician or nurse. It releases hormones into your body to prevent pregnancy.
Once inserted, you don’t have to do much to maintain it. All you need to do is to ensure that the implant is still in your arm by feeling for it. If you can’t feel the birth control implant, contact your health care provider immediately, and get on non-hormonal birth control methods like condoms until your doctor confirms it’s still there.
How Nexplanon Works
So how does Nexplanon work? This birth control implant is a progestin-only contraceptive, which means it only contains the hormone progesterone. It contains about 68 milligrams of etonogestrel, which is released in low doses into your body for the three years to prevent pregnancy.
The hormone in Nexplanon prevents pregnancy in two ways. For one, progestin thickens the cervical mucus. As a result, it becomes harder for sperms to swim through to reach your egg. Therefore, the likelihood of getting pregnant is very low.
The other way the progestin hormone prevents you from getting pregnant is by stopping ovulation by preventing (hopefully) the eggs from leaving the ovaries. If there are no eggs to fertilize, you won’t get pregnant. Of course, there is not a 100 percent guarantee that it will work. Like with every birth control, sometimes it fails.
The best thing about this birth control implant is that it starts working immediately if you get it within the first five days of your period. However, if you get it later, you’ll have to wait for up to a week for it to work. So make sure you use other contraceptive methods before it kicks in.
You should know that the progestin levels decrease as time goes by. In the first 6 weeks, about 60 to 70 micrograms are released every day. By the end of the first year, only about 35 to 45 micrograms will be released into your body per day. The second year is even less, with only 30 to 40 micrograms released each day. And in the third year, about 25 to 30 micrograms will be released into your body.
After this, the progestin levels will be too low to prevent pregnancy. It’s, therefore, advisable to have it replaced after three years.
Nexplanon Side Effects, Contraindications, and Complications
It would be great to get a hormonal contraceptive method that doesn’t include side effects. But that’s nearly impossible because different people react differently to various hormonal contraceptives. And Nexplanon isn’t an exception. So, let’s see some of the side effects you should expect from this implant.
According to expert and user Nexplanon reviews, the most common side effect women experience is irregular menstrual bleeding. Users have complained about changes in the intensity, duration, and frequency of their period.
Some women have also missed their period altogether after getting the implant. According to experts, the irregularities you notice during the first few months after getting the implant are a good indicator of what to expect for the rest of the period you have the implant.
Other common side effects, according to Nexplanon reviews, include headaches, sore throats, breast pain, weight gain, acne, abdominal pain, and vaginitis.
Some less common side effects include decreased sex drive, hair loss, fatigue, hot flush, nausea, increased appetite, and mood swings.
Another important thing you need to know about Nexplanon is that it’s not for everyone. This birth control implant shouldn’t be used by individuals who:
- Have progestin-sensitive cancer
- Experience unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Suffer from severe depression
- Have a history of hematomas
- Are pregnant or suspect they are
- Have liver disease
Make sure your doctor has all the information they need about your health and medical history before getting this procedure done to prevent any adverse reactions.
It’s not common for complications to arise when you’re getting Nexplanon placed inside your arm. However, it may happen if the person doing it does it incorrectly.
If the physician inserts the implant too deep into your skin, it may result in vascular or nerve injury, which may lead to blood clots (hematomas). It may also cause abnormal firing of the peripheral nerve cells (a condition known as paresthesia). Apart from this, a wrongly inserted implant may also prevent the effective release of the hormone which increases your chances of getting pregnant — you definitely don’t want that.
It’s also crucial for the physician to remove the implant correctly. Failure to do so may make the implant migrate, thereby requiring expensive surgery to get it out.
For this reason, before you make an appointment, it’s vital to ensure you choose the right obstetrician/gynecologist or doctor for the job.
Also, make sure you contact your doctor if you experience numbness, tingling, confusion, vomiting, persistent pain, and scarring after the procedure.
There’s also a high risk of experiencing ectopic pregnancy if you get pregnant while using this implant. When this happens, there’s an increased chance of infertility and in severe cases, sometimes death.
Nexplanon vs. Implanon
As a result, most doctors, especially inexperienced ones, would end up placing the implant incorrectly because they weren’t sure how to do it, which lead to high failure rates. Implanon’s applicator was also not very reliable and also increased the chances of wrong placement.
To solve the problem, Nexplanon was created. And according to Nexplanon reviews, it is really an upgrade. This implant is radiopaque, which makes it so much easier to insert it and remove it. Furthermore, it has an improved applicator, which makes the installation process hassle-free.
Nexplanon: The Good and Bad
So what do you stand to gain from using Nexplanon and what are some of the disadvantages that come with using this birth control implant? Let’s find out.
One of the benefits of using Nexplanon is that it only takes about 30 minutes to have it placed into your arm. Yes. You read that right. 30 minutes and you’re assured you won’t get pregnant for the next three years.
Now that’s convenient!
And the best part? You barely feel any pain when it’s being inserted because you get a numbing shot before. However, you may experience some tenderness and swelling when the pain medication wears off.
The implant is also effortless to remove, and if you want to get pregnant, you can do so easily by simply having the implant removed and trying to conceive. We also love that this implant is small in size, and it’s a longterm birth control method.
Besides, most insurance companies cover Nexplanon, which makes it accessible to most women. And that’s not all there is to love about this birth control implant. It’s also a type of private birth control. Once you have it in, no one can tell it’s there.
We also love that it contains only one hormone, which makes it an excellent choice for women who are sensitive to estrogen.
Although Nexplanon has so many advantages, it also has some disadvantages you may want to consider before booking an appointment.
One thing almost everyone complains about in Nexplanon reviews is its price. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll have to spend a pretty penny to afford this birth control procedure. Also, if you’re not a fan of needles, this may not be the procedure for you.
You see, it has to be injected into your skin, and after the procedure, you may experience some bruising that may be painful to touch. However, this should not deter you from getting it because the pain subsides after a few days.
Another disadvantage of Nexplanon is that it comes with severe side effects. You need to go over them to be sure you’re down for all the changes you may experience(some of them can be quite unbearable).
Nexplanon also doesn’t protect against STDs and STIs, and in rare cases, it can break or come out on its own.
Nexplanon Reviews: What Patients Have to Say
To help you decide, we scoured the internet to find out what different customers had to say about this birth control implant. People have different experiences with Nexplanon. Some people love this implant. One user said she loves this implant because it not only made her lose weight but also made her periods disappear during the time she was using it.
However, the majority of people didn’t have the best experience with this implant. They mainly complained about the side effects that come with the implant. Some even felt frustrated with it because it caused so much spotting that they couldn’t have sex.
The gave it a rating of 5.4 out of 10 stars on drugs.com.
How Nexplanon Compares to Other Longterm Birth Control Options
It’s also essential to know which other options you have apart from Nexplanon to make an informed decision.
We compared it to three of the most common birth control methods to help you decide. Let’s get straight to business.
ParaGrad is a type of non-hormonal inter-uterine device(IUD) that works by causing an inflammation response in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. The inflammation is toxic to sperm and, therefore, makes it impossible for fertilization to take place.
The advantage ParaGrad has over Nexplanon is the fact that it lasts longer. You can use it for up to 10 years! Another great thing about this IUD is that it’s more affordable.
ParaGrad also has fewer side effects because it’s non-hormonal. However, it causes your periods to be irregular, and there is a high chance of infection during insertion. Therefore, make sure you choose the right gynecologist for the job
Users rated ParaGrad 5.9 out of 10 stars on drugs.com
Mirena is also an inter-uterine device, but unlike ParaGrad, it’s hormonal. It works by thining your uterus lining to prevent the passage of sperm. In addition, it releases progestin which thickens the cervical mucus further preventing the passage of sperm.
Since it utilizes the same hormone as Nexplanon, you can expect most of the side effects you get from the birth control implant. It lasts for three to five years, and it’s very effective for preventing pregnancy. However, Mirena reacts with a lot of drugs. For this reason, you should always let your doctor know if you’re on any medication before getting the treatment.
Users believe Mirena deserves a rating of 6.8 out of 10 stars.
If you don’t want anything inserted into your body, you have the option of going for a Depo-Provera shot, a manmade progestin hormone shot.
This shot works by preventing the release of eggs from the ovaries and also by increasing the thickness of your cervical mucus to prevent fertilization. A single shot lasts for 13 weeks after which you are supposed to get another one to continue preventing pregnancy.
Generally, it’s not advisable to use this birth control method for more than two years. It has the same side effects as Nexplanon. The only advantage it has over the implant is that it is less invasive.
Users gave it a rating of 4.6 out of 10 stars on drugs.com.
Is Nexplanon the Best Option?
There is no doubt that Nexplanon is a convenient birth control method. But based on Nexplanon reviews, the side effects can make having this birth control implant unbearable. If you’ve used a progestin-only birth control method before and had a great experience, there’s a high chance this implant will work for you too. However, if you don’t have the best experience with progestin-only birth control, it may not be a good idea to try it.
If you decide to try this implant, don’t forget to consult a licensed doctor or OB/GYN.
Have you used Nexplanon before? Would you say the Nexplanon reviews are accurate? Please share your thoughts and views in the comments section. We’d love to hear your experience.