Last week, I was helping in one of our clinics when I overheard someone say the next patient was getting Nexplanon inserted. Curious one that I am, I asked the Nurse Practitioner if I could watch, with the patient’s permission, naturally. With her approval granted, I entered the room and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible.
She was in her late teens and accompanied by her mother. Although she was on Depo, so received shots every three months, she was very nervous and afraid she’d pass out. After she lay down on the exam table, the NP gave her an injection to numb the area under her left arm. A plastic device containing the small rod was inserted in the numbed area and the rod was inserted. A few adhesive strips and a pressure bandage were placed over the site. The entire procedure took about 5 minutes. Despite her initial anxiousness, she was chatting and laughing with her mother when she left the room.
Nexplanon works for 3 years. Three years without having to remember to take a daily pill, change a weekly patch, replace a ring once a month or get a shot every 3 months. The failure rate with these methods is greatly increased when human error comes into play.
Nexplanon is 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy, the same as a tubal ligation or vasectomy (female and male sterilization). Along with the other hormonal methods it works by preventing an egg from being released from an ovary, thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the lining of the uterus.
As with any medicine or medical procedure, there are possible, but rare complications. Before you decide on what method works for you, do your research, know your medical history. And always remember that this method does NOTHING to prevent a sexually transmitted infection. To learn more visit www.nexplanon.org or visit Planned Parenthood’s website.