Important information about Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19): Learn More

NCQA Bridges to Excellence ICAEL

Nexplanon® - Contraception 


Nexplanon® (estonogestrel implant) is a prescription medication used for female contraception.  Nexplanon is a small, flexible device (4-cm long) that is placed under the skin on the upper inside of your arm for up to three years. Nexplanon is ideal for women who prefer not to think about birth control every day, week, or month.  Nexplanon contraception is reversible; it can be removed at your request anytime.  The FDA approved Nexplanon in 2011.

Nexplanon is a small rod that contains a contraceptive hormone.  It is inserted in your arm during a short in-office procedure.  Nexplanon is not noticeable, providing you with a discreet method of birth control.

Nexplanon releases a low steady dose of etonogestrel (progestin).  Nexplanon does not contain estrogen.  Nexplanon prevents pregnancy by stopping the ovaries from releasing eggs.  Nexplanon is a one of the most effective birth control methods.  In clinical trials, Nexplanon was over 99% effective; however, the study did not include overweight women so it is unknown if Nexplanon is equally effective in overweight women.  If you are overweight, your physician may advise removal of Nexplanon earlier than three years.

Your doctor will  review the risks and side effects associated with Nexplanon.  You may experience a change in your menstrual periods, such as irregular, unpredictable, or absent bleeding.  Nexplanon is not a recommended method of contraception for women who have a history of blood clots, liver disease, a liver tumor, breast cancer, or unexplained vaginal bleeding.  Nexplanon may not be recommended if you have diabetes, high cholesterol or triglycerides, high blood pressure, or experience headaches, gallbladder or kidney problems, or depression.

Back to Top


Nexplanon is a small rod, about the size of a matchstick.  The area on your underarm will be numbed, and the implant is placed just under the skin during a short office visit. After Nexplanon is implanted, you and your doctor will feel for the rod to make sure it is properly placed.  You will wear a bandage for a few days.  You will need to use another form of birth control for one week following the insertion.

Nexplanon is effective for three years.  At three years, the used Nexplanon implant needs to be removed.  Your doctor can quickly remove the Nexplanon implant in a short in-office visit.  You may receive a new implant at that time.

The effects of Nexplanon are totally reversible.  You may choose to have your Nexplanon implant removed before three years if you want to get pregnant.  After removal, you will return to your pre-existing fertility level. 

Back to Top


Copyright ©  - iHealthSpot, Inc. -

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit