Having decided that the contraceptive implant fits your current lifestyle and a doctor has checked that you can use it, the following patient information will tell you more about the implant, what to expect when it is inserted and how your periods may change during its use.
*The Nexplanon diary card is a small information booklet about the implant including a diary card that you can use to keep a record of your bleeding pattern once you've had the implant inserted.
Things you should know about the contraceptive implant:
It is a long-acting, reversible contraceptive in the form of a small, flexible rod.
It is inserted just under the skin on the inside of the upper arm.
It is 40 mm long and 2 mm wide. So, about the same size as a hairgrip or a matchstick.
Nexplanon can be left in place for up to 3 years.
To become pregnant, sperm has to fertilise the eggs released from your ovaries. Nexplanon releases a small amount of a synthetic hormone (a progestogen called etonogestrel) into your body every day which prevents the monthly release of eggs from your ovaries.
The implant may be suitable for you if you want a contraceptive without the pressure of remembering to take daily pills, if you don’t feel ready to have a baby, or if you want to forget about contraception for a while before having another baby. You can discuss contraceptive options with your doctor or nurse to determine whether the implant is right for your lifestyle. In addition, you can explore different options on www.talkchoice.co.uk, a website produced by MSD.
No method of contraception is 100% effective. However, Nexplanon is more than 99% effective. This means that in any given year, less than one in every 100 women who use it will get pregnant.
Nexplanon starts working immediately provided it is inserted and used as recommended.
As with most medicines, there is a possibility of some side effects with Nexplanon. The most common ones reported are: irregular bleeding, acne, headaches, breast tenderness and pain, weight changes and vaginal infection. However, these don't occur in everyone.
Check the patient information leaflet you were given for more information and always discuss any concerns you might have with your doctor or family planning nurse.
Nexplanon must be removed after 3 years, and sooner in someone of above average weight. When the implant was inserted you should have been given a user card that states the latest date by which it should be removed. Please keep the card somewhere safe, and make an appointment to see your doctor well before this date.
If you’ve been prescribed Nexplanon but not yet had the implant inserted by a trained implant fitter, the following summarises the relatively quick and simple procedure.
Every woman is different where periods are concerned. Because the contraceptive implant contains a progestogen and no estrogen, you may experience some changes to your normal vaginal bleeding pattern. When you are using Nexplanon, your menstrual bleeding may change and become absent, irregular, infrequent, frequent, prolonged, or rarely heavy.
All of these changes are common to progestogen-only methods of contraception. The bleeding pattern that you experience during the first three months generally indicates your future bleeding pattern. Painful periods may improve.
Keeping a diary can help you monitor how your bleeding pattern changes with the use of the contraceptive implant. Download the Nexplanon Diary Card, which contains an example of a bleeding pattern diary.
Please consult your doctor or family planning nurse if you are worried about any bleeding pattern changes that may occur while using the contraceptive implant.
Nexplanon can remain in place for up to 3 years after which time it should be removed and replaced, or another contraceptive method used.
You will need the user card you that were given when the implant was inserted to sign up for this free e-mail reminder service.
If you do not have the user card, please consult the healthcare professional or practice where the implant was inserted.
Before signing up to this service, speak with your healthcare professional about the planned date for removal.
Anytime After Nine Ltd maintains the e-mail reminder service independently of MSD and will not share your information with anyone.
Reporting side effects: If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at http://www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.