Birth Control Implants: IUD or Nexplanon?

No one birth control method is right for every woman. If reversibility, effectiveness, and convenience are at the top of your list of must haves for birth control, an IUD (intrauterine device) or Nexplanon® (a hormonal insert) are good options.

At Abundant Life Healthcare, we can help you understand how each of these contraceptive choices works. Plus, we’ll evaluate your health, talk to you about your goals, and review any side effects, so you can make an informed choice when it comes to your reproductive health.

What is an IUD?

An IUD is a T-shaped device that fits into your uterus. The device uses copper or hormones to repel sperm, preventing pregnancy for 3-10 years, depending on the type you choose. IUDs are safe, 99% effective, and convenient. Once inserted, you can pretty much forget about it – and about getting pregnant.

The process of getting an IUD is rather simple. We perform the insertion in-office, using a small tube that goes through your vagina and cervix, then into the uterus. The strings of an implanted IUD do hang out, but don’t interfere with hygiene or intercourse. 

What is Nexplanon?

Nexplanon also uses hormones to prevent pregnancy, but it’s placed in your arm rather than in your uterus. It protects you from pregnancy for up to three years. The hormones prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg and thicken the mucus in your cervix, keeping sperm from being able to reach an egg, too. Finally, the hormones in Nexplanon change the lining of your uterus so even if an egg were to be released and sperm to meet it, implantation is impossible. Nexplanon is also 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

We insert Nexplanon in office, directly under your upper arm skin, in less than one minute. When it’s time to remove the implant, you undergo a minor, in-office surgical procedure. You may be able to feel the implant upon palpation of your arm, but it isn’t visible to the eye.

Both IUDs and Nexplanon go to work right away

Right after insertion of Nexplanon or your IUD, you are protected from pregnancy right away. And, if your family plans change and you want to try to get pregnant before your IUD or Nexplanon implant expires, we can remove it, and your normal fertility resumes.

Useful for all women

IUDs and Nexplanon are safe for women of all ages. If you’ve already completed your family, haven’t yet started, or just aren’t sure you want one, these methods of birth control are appropriate.

Timing of implantation

We recommend you schedule your IUD or Nexplanon insertion during the first seven days of your period. This ensures you aren’t pregnant, and when it comes to the IUD insertion, your cervix is a little more open during this time, so the procedure is more comfortable. ‘

Once your IUD or Nexplanon have expired, you can have another put in right away if you want to continue your protection.

Other considerations

Do remember that neither Nexplanon or an IUD protect you from STDs. If you have multiple partners or a partner who does, It’s a good idea to use a condom along with your inserted form of birth control for extra protection.

Both Nexplanon and an IUD can cause some irregularities in your menstrual cycle in the first few months following insertion. You may have longer or shorter periods, or your period may disappear altogether. If you’re alarmed by unusual uterine bleeding, do contact us to ensure you don’t have another cause.

When weighing your birth control options, come to Abundant Life Healthcare to learn about the wide variety of choices. Call for an appointment, or book an appointment using the online tool. 

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