Nexplanon is a small etonogestrel implant that is considered a long-term birth control method. This discrete device is only installed by a doctor and provides up to 3 years of continuous pregnancy prevention.
Indications for use
Nexplanon is considered one of the most effective contraceptives available on sale. If properly installed by a qualified physician in compliance with all the rules, the product guarantees a 99% protection from pregnancy.
Mechanism of action
The implant has two effects that prevent pregnancy. First of all, it prevents ovulation (the release of eggs). Further, it compacts the mucous membrane of the cervix, making it a barrier to sperm, so that they cannot reach the ovum and fertilize it.
Dosage and mode of application
Nexplanone is a soft, elastic bar which is implanted and removed through a small incision under the skin- an operation that is performed by a gynecologist on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, a mild local anesthetic is used, which reduces discomfort. The device is used according to the prescription of the doctor and can stay in the body for up to 3 years. Accordingly, the patient may not worry about the schedule of taking birth control daily doses.
The technique belongs to the category of “delicate”, that is, only the doctor and the patient know about the use of the drug. In most cases, the implant is not visible, but you can feel it when you touch the place where the device was implanted.
Before installing Nexplanone, you should inform the doctor about the current period of the menstrual cycle, and after the procedure, you’d better refuse the contraceptives that I used before. It is important that the drug is implanted during the desired period of the cycle or at the appropriate time when the previous method of contraception is discontinued.
Nexplanon should not be used in the presence of any of the conditions/diseases listed below. If any of these conditions occur, the drug should be discontinued immediately:
- hypersensitivity to the active substance (etonogestrel) or any auxiliary substances of the drug;
- thrombosis (arterial and venous) and thromboembolism, current or in the anamnesis (including thrombosis, deep vein thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, ischemic or hemorrhagic cerebrovascular disorders);
- the presence of antibodies to phospholipids;
- a migraine with focal neurological symptoms;
- breast cancer, including in the anamnesis;
- established or suspected malignant hormone-dependent tumors;
- benign or malignant liver tumors (present or in the anamnesis);
- severe forms of liver disease, including jaundice, congenital hyperbilirubinemia (present or in the anamnesis);
- uncontrolled arterial hypertension;
- bleeding from the vagina of an unclear etiology;
- age under 18;
- smoking. Do not smoke while using Nexplanon, especially if you are over 35. Smoking can increase the risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack caused by the hormonal implant.
If you have of any of the conditions or risk factors listed below, you should weigh the benefits of using the etonogestrel implant with respect to the possible risks:
- prolonged immobilization caused by a surgical intervention or other causes; conditions preceding thrombosis (including transient ischemic attacks, angina pectoris, complicated heart valve disease, atrial fibrillation, extensive trauma); persistent arterial hypertension;
- diabetes mellitus;
- hereditary or acquired predisposition to arterial thrombosis, including the deficiency of protein C, protein S, antithrombin III;
- liver diseases of mild and moderate severity with normal indicators of functional liver samples;
- therapy with anticoagulants;
- severe depression.
If you have any of the above conditions, you should consult a doctor and decide whether to continue or discontinue using Nexplanon implant.
The most common side effects of Nexplanone are associated with possible changes in the menstrual cycle, which is typical for progesterone-based contraceptives.
In most cases, the number of days during which bleeding is observed does not differ much from the statistics of the normal cycle. If the implant is installed correctly, these changes do not pose any threat to the body. Therefore, no special measures are required. Consult a physician only if you have a very abundant and prolonged menstrual bleeding.
Other side effects include acne, chest pain/pressure, and weight gain.
You should notify your doctor about all medicines you are taking or just about to take, since some of the drugs may weaken the contraceptive effect of Nexplanon. In this case, for a greater safety, a gynecologist can suggest an additional contraceptive method. There are scientific data that antibiotics, antidepressants and anxiolytics can weaken the effect of the implant. Women receiving treatment with one of the above medicines should use the barrier method of contraception during their use and within 28 days after stopping their intake.
Nexplanon and pregnancy
Nexplanon is contraindicated to pregnant women. If pregnancy occurred during the period of using this implant, the device should be removed.
According to the available clinical data, this etonogestrel medication does not affect the production and quality of breast milk (lactose, proteins, fat content). The same data indicate that a small quantity of etonogestrel may penetrate into the breast milk. Based on the available data, the use of the device during breastfeeding is possible but only under the supervision of a doctor. The drug can be administered 4 weeks after delivery.