Nexplanon is a subdermal, contraceptive implant. A small, rod-shaped device is implanted under the skin and, over a period of three years, releases the contraceptive etonogestrel. The device prevents the release of an egg and also alters the walls of the uterus making it harder for an embryo to become attached. It also thickens fluid within the vagina to slow down the advancement of the sperm and prevent them from reaching the cervix. The device is considered to be extremely effective and can be used in most women who are of child-bearing age.
The device is implanted under the skin, normally on the inside of the upper arm. The contraceptive it contains is released slowly, over time to provide sustained protection from unwanted pregnancy. It will not, however, protect the patient from contracting sexually transmitted diseases. It can also be used to slow down or stop menstrual cycles for women who have extremely heavy periods. Although there may be some minor spotting or a minimal discharge, the contraceptive does help to control irregular periods and lessen the discomfort associated with them.
Nexplanon may have side effects. Two of the most common are irritation at the site where the device was implanted and weight gain. Users may also experience, dizziness, breast tenderness, headaches, acne, hair loss, and vaginal irritation. The side effects can range from mild to severe, depending on the person's overall health. While some women may continue to have their normal period, others may have no period at all or ones that range from shorter to longer and from lighter to heavier. Each woman will be affected differently by the implant. For women who have severe side effects, the implant may have to be removed if the side effects continue to worsen.
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