UT Teen Health Health


The Implant


typical use


(CDC, 2016)


The implant (Implanon® or Nexplanon®) is a rod that's inserted under the skin of the upper arm. It usually can’t be seen once it's inserted. The implant releases hormones that keep the ovaries from releasing an egg.  It also thickens cervical mucus, which helps to block sperm from getting to the egg, and thins the lining of the uterus which may prevent implantation.  It reduces the risk of pregnancy for three years.


Quick Facts!

Effective, long lasting, and reversible.


The implant is among the most effective methods.

Side effects

Irregular uterine bleeding, pain or bruising at the insertion site are the most common side effects of the implant.


Insertion once every 3 years

How do I get it?

A doctor inserts the implant in an office visit.


From $0-$600 for 3 years.

STI reduction


More about the implant

STI reduction


Get it and forget it

Once it's in, it lasts for up to 3 years.


Because it can stay in place for up to three years, it averages to about $17 a month.


  • With Medicaid: Free or a small co-pay
  • With insurance: Usually the cost of the co-pay
  • Without insurance: About $600 for device + $100 to insert or remove (clinic or doctor’s office).

Once the implant is inserted it reduces the risk of pregnancy for up to three years.

In a doctors office, a small area of the upper arm is numbed with a painkiller and the implant is inserted under the skin.

To remove the implant, the doctor will numb the arm again, make a tiny cut in the skin, and remove it. Another implant can be inserted at the same time.

The most common complaint is irregular bleeding, especially in the first 6-12 months. 

Less commonly:  acne, change in appetite, decreased sex drive, ovarian cysts, depression, discoloring or scarring of the skin at implant site, dizziness, hair loss, headaches, nausea, nervousness, pain or infection at the insertion site, sore breasts.  For a very small number of women there may be more serious problems including ulnar nerve damage at insertion site.  This method may avoid some dangers of combined hormonal contraceptives (blood clots).