Birth Control Implants in New York City
Birth control implants are devices that go under a woman’s skin. They release a hormone that prevents pregnancy. The implant available in the U.S. is Nexplanon.
The implant is a plastic rod about the size of a matchstick. It contains a form of the hormone progesterone called etonogestrel. Your doctor will inject medicine to numb your skin on your upper arm, where you’ll get the implant. That may sting a bit.
Then they’ll use a device that pushes the rod through a needle. That won’t hurt. It feels like a little bit of tugging. The insertion process may take less than a minute. Afterward, you should be able to feel the implant under your skin, but not see it.
Removing it can take only a few minutes or 20 minutes, depending on how much scar tissue has formed. Your health care provider numbs your skin and makes a tiny cut near the tip of the implant, then pulls it out. If you doctor can’t feel it under the skin, an X-ray can show if it’s in the right place.
Frequently Asked Questions
How effective is the implant?
The implant is one of the best birth control methods out there — it’s more than 99% effective. That means fewer than 1 out of 100 women who use Nexplanon will get pregnant each year. It doesn’t get much better than that.
The implant is so effective because there’s no chance of making a mistake. Since it’s in your arm, you can’t forget to take it, or use it incorrectly. It protects you from pregnancy all day, every day for up to 4 years. If you decide you want to get pregnant, a nurse or doctor can take it out and you can get pregnant right away.
The implant doesn’t protect you from STDs, so use condoms along with the implant to help protect you from both pregnancy and STDs.
How does it feel to get an implant inserted?
Most people just feel a little pinch or stinging when they get the numbing shot. After that, you shouldn’t be able to feel the implant being inserted. After the pain medication has worn off, your arm may ache a little where the implant was inserted, but it goes away quickly.
You may have some tenderness or swelling around the implant for a few days and it may look bruised for a week or two. Your doctor or nurse will tell you how to wash and take care of the skin around your implant for the first couple of days.
How soon after getting the implant can I have sex?
You can have sex right away after getting the implant. But if you don’t get the implant during the first 5 days of your period, you should use some other type of birth control (like condoms) for the first week after getting your implant. (If you do get the implant during the first 5 days of your period, you’re protected from pregnancy right away.)
What are the risks of using the birth control implant?
Serious problems with Nexplanon are rare, but they include arm pain that lasts for longer than a few days, an infection in the arm that needs medicine, or a scar on your arm where the implant goes.
Tell your doctor or nurse if you have any of the following while using Nexplanon:
- Bleeding, pus, redness, or pain in your arm where the implant was inserted that doesn’t go away
- Yellowing of your eyes and skin
- Much heavier or longer than normal bleeding from your vagina
- The implant seems to have moved
Is it safe to use the implant while breastfeeding?
Yes, it’s safe to use the implant while you’re breastfeeding. It shouldn’t have any effect on how much milk you produce, and it won’t hurt your baby. In fact, the implant is a great method to use if you’re breastfeeding and you don’t want to get pregnant.
What are the benefits of the implant?
The implant is a super effective and convenient way to prevent pregnancy for up to 4 years — you get it, then forget it. The implant also has positive side effects.
What happens when the implant is removed?
A nurse or doctor will take your implant out of your arm after 4 years or whenever you want to stop using it. Nexplanon removal is usually fast and easy.