Birth Control Basics: The Implant

By marthe

What is it?

The implant, (brand name: Nexplanon), is a hormonal contraceptive that is inserted under your skin on your upper arm. Sounds creepy but it is a small rod that you won’t notice or feel. It releases a low dose of progestin into your body, similar to the mini-pill.

How do you use it?

The implant is inserted by a doctor and left for up to four years. You can take it out whenever you want. The main take away is that you don’t have to do anything for four years in order to not get pregnant.

How much does it cost?

The out of pocket cost for the implant is  $450 – $848, which translates to $10 – $18 each month when used for four years. However, if you have Medicaid or covered by other insurance plans, it’s usually free.

Side effects?

Similar to the mini-pill, the implant has side effects like spotting, irregular bleeding, sore breasts, nausea, acne and can affect your sex drive. Whenever your body is introduced to new hormones it takes time to adjust, so don’t get too concerned with symptoms in the first several months. If your symptoms do not change or disappear after 6 months, consult with your doctor and consider changing methods.

Is this right for you?

The implant is perfect if you want something easy and worry free. You don’t have to set reminders to do something daily, weekly or monthly like other forms of contraceptives.  Also, if you’re over 35, smoke and/or are sensitive to estrogen, this is an option for you.

Want the Pill, Patch or Ring?