Contraceptive Implants - FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do they cost?
Approximately 350.00 at the pharmacy. This may be covered by your extended health plan. DIN # 02499509. Not currently covered by NIHB or social services.
How long does it take for the birth control implant to work?
If you get the implant during the first 5 days of your period, you’re protected from pregnancy right away.
If you get the implant at any other time in your cycle, use some other form of birth control (i.e. condoms) during the first week. After that first week, the implant starts working and you’re protected from pregnancy for 3 years.
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.
You will be asked to keep the area dry for 24 hours.
You should be able to feel both ends of the rod under your skin. If you are unable to at any time, contact your physician for a consultation.
What are the risks of using the birth control implant?
Serious problems with contraceptive implants 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 if you have any of the following:
Bleeding, pus, redness, or pain in your arm where the implant was inserted that doesn’t go away.
The implant seems to have moved.
You can always call the clinic with any concerns about your implant. They can help with any questions you may have.
Does the implant prevent STDs?
No. Contraceptive implants don’t protect against STDs. Using condoms every time you have sex does lower your chances of getting or spreading STDs. Using condoms with your implant is the best way to prevent infections.
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.
You can get pregnant after taking out your implant.
Contraceptive implants are reversible. If you decide you want to get pregnant, you can get it removed at any time. The implant won’t affect your fertility or make it harder to get pregnant in the future. In fact, it’s possible to get pregnant as soon as it is removed.
The implant can have negative side effects.
Some people have side effects, but many adjust to the implant with few or no problems at all. Negative side effects usually go away after a few months, once your body gets used to your implant.
The most common side effect is irregular bleeding or spotting, especially in the first 6-12 months. Sometimes the implant causes long-term spotting, or periods get longer and heavier. But for most people, their periods get lighter — 1 in 3 people with the implant stop getting their periods at all after a year.
It’s totally safe to not get a period with the implant. And you don’t need to worry about being pregnant even if you don’t get a period, because the implant is really, really effective birth control. Other possible side effects that aren’t as common include:
- Breast pain
- Weight gain
- Pain or bruising where the implant was inserted
- An infection where the implant was inserted
Is it possible for others to see the implant under my skin.
Once the bruising has gone, you may have a very small scar at the site of insertion but no one should be able to see the rod under your skin.
Is it possible to have an allergic reaction to the medications used or the implant itself?
It is extremely rare to have an allergic reaction to the implant or the medications used for the freezing.
When should I get the birth control implant removed?
Nexplanon® works for 3 years, and a doctor must remove it once it expires. You can also get your implant taken out any time before then if you want to get pregnant or stop using it.
If you’ve had your implant for 3 years and you still don’t want to get pregnant, you need to replace it (or pick another birth control method). You can get a new implant when you have the old one removed. The physician may need to use a new insertion site depending on scarring.
How does it feel to get the birth control implant removed?
Implant removal only takes a few minutes, but the process is a little longer than getting it put in.
Just like with the insertion, a doctor gives you a shot to numb a small area of your arm. Then they make a small cut and remove the implant. You usually just feel a little pinch or stinging when you get the numbing shot. After that, it shouldn’t hurt when they make the incision or take the implant out.
If you want to continue using this form of birth control, you can get another implant put in at the same appointment.
How soon can I get pregnant after getting the implant removed?
It’s possible to get pregnant right away.
What should I expect after I get my implant removed?
Overall, you should feel completely normal after getting your implant taken out. Your arm may feel tender or swollen around where the implant was for a few days. It may look bruised for a week or two.
You will be asked to keep the area dry for 24 hours.
Unless you start another hormonal birth control method after removing the implant, your period will go back to how it was before you got the implant.