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The Implanon NXT® contraceptive implant is also known as the ‘rod', the ‘stick' or the Implant.
The implant is a small rod inserted under the skin of the arm using local anaesthetic, and slowly releases the hormone progestogen. It can be removed any time before or replaced at three years.
Implanon NXT® works for three years by:
A change to the pattern of vaginal bleeding is the most noticeable result of using the implant. The changes are due to the effect of the hormone on the lining of the uterus. It is not possible to predict what the pattern will be for any one woman. Changes can include:
The type of bleeding pattern experienced in the first 3-6 months of use may predict the ongoing pattern.
For women experiencing continued bleeding problems, a change of contraceptive method may need to be considered.
Women who are unhappy with their bleeding pattern should talk to their doctor.
Most women can safely use Implanon®. Your doctor will review the suitability of the method with you prior to insertion.
This method is not suitable for women with:
A local anaesthetic is given into the skin and, when the area is numb, the implant is inserted. The implant is usually placed on the inside of the upper arm.
The implant is normally inserted during the first five days of the menstrual period but it can be inserted at other times if there is no chance that the woman could already be pregnant.
If it is inserted in the first five days of the menstrual period it may be immediately effective.
If it is inserted at other times it will not be effective for seven days.
The implant can be left in the arm for three years (or removed earlier if desired). Removal is a simple procedure using a small amount of local anaesthetic.
You should expect intermittent spotting or bleeding for up to 6 months while the implant settles in.
A follow up visit will be made to check on the placement and the bleeding pattern.
When the implant is removed fertility returns quickly with most women returning to their previous menstrual cycle within a month. If you do not wish to fall pregnant, you must consider alternate methods of contraception straight away. The implant is not effective after
three years so it should be removed and the same or another contraceptive method used. A single procedure can be used to remove an old implant and put in a new one.
The implant should be removed after 3 years even if you no longer require contraception. If a pregnancy occurs with an expired Implanon NXT® in place, then there is a small increased risk of the pregnancy implanting in the fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy). This can be a serious condition.