Discover a comprehensive guide to the diverse array of Nexplanon side effects. From common to rare symptoms, psychological impacts to managing strategies—this article covers it all.

Introduction to Nexplanon

What is Nexplanon?

Nexplanon is a form of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) used by individuals to prevent pregnancy. It is a small, flexible plastic rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. This contraceptive implant works by steadily releasing a hormone called etonogestrel, which is a type of progestin. Etonogestrel prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary), thickens cervical mucus to impede sperm movement, and alters the lining of the uterus, reducing the likelihood of a fertilized egg attaching to the uterine wall.

Once inserted, Nexplanon provides birth control for up to three years. It offers a highly effective and convenient method for those seeking long-term pregnancy prevention without the need for daily administration or adherence. Its efficacy is comparable to other hormonal contraceptives, offering a reliable option for individuals looking for extended contraception without undergoing sterilization.

How Does Nexplanon Work?

Nexplanon operates by releasing a hormone known as etonogestrel steadily into the body. Etonogestrel is a type of progestin that serves a few contraceptive purposes:

  1. Preventing Ovulation: The hormone suppresses the release of an egg from the ovary, which is a key step in the menstrual cycle. Without ovulation, there’s no egg available for fertilization by sperm.
  2. Thickening Cervical Mucus: Etonogestrel thickens the cervical mucus, making it tougher for sperm to travel through the cervix to reach an egg if ovulation somehow occurs.
  3. Changing Uterine Lining: The hormone alters the lining of the uterus, making it less receptive to a fertilized egg, thereby reducing the chances of pregnancy even if an egg is released and fertilized.

This contraceptive mechanism effectively prevents pregnancy by targeting multiple points in the reproductive process, providing a reliable form of birth control for an extended period.

Common Side Effects

Immediate Effects

Nexplanon commonly causes localized pain, bruising, or numbness at the implant site. Additionally, some experience headaches or breast tenderness.

Long-term Effects

Over time, irregular menstrual bleeding, changes in weight, and mood swings might occur. These often stabilize after a few months.

Uncommon Side Effects

Psychological Impact

Rarely, Nexplanon users report mood changes, including depression or anxiety. Such effects warrant prompt medical attention.

Rare Physical Symptoms

Infrequently, severe side effects such as blood clots or allergic reactions may arise. These necessitate immediate medical intervention.

Managing Side Effects

Coping Strategies

To alleviate minor symptoms, applying a cold compress at the insertion site or managing hormonal changes through diet and exercise can be beneficial.

Seeking Medical Help

For persistent or concerning symptoms, consulting a healthcare professional is crucial. They can provide tailored guidance or, if necessary, remove the implant.


Can Nexplanon Cause Weight Gain?

Weight changes are possible but not universal; some may experience slight fluctuations.

What Are the Psychological Effects of Nexplanon?

Rarely, individuals may experience mood swings or depressive symptoms.

How Long Do Nexplanon Side Effects Last?

Most side effects diminish within a few months of implantation.

Are There Any Allergic Reactions Associated with Nexplanon?

Though rare, allergic reactions like itching or hives can occur.

Can Nexplanon Cause Irregular Bleeding?

Yes, irregular bleeding is a common side effect initially.

Is Hair Loss a Side Effect of Nexplanon?

Hair loss is an uncommon but reported side effect in some individuals.


In conclusion, Nexplanon side effects vary in frequency and severity. While many experience minor, manageable symptoms, rare severe effects necessitate immediate medical attention. Understanding these possibilities empowers informed decisions about contraceptive choices.

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