What is an etonogestrel implant?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
The etonogestrel implant (Implanon or Nexplanon) is a small rod, 1.6 inches long, that is implanted under the skin on the inside of the upper arm. The implant is placed by a trained professional and takes less than a minute. It releases a constant low dose of the progestin hormone called etonogestrel. It provides birth control for 3 years, but it can be removed at any time. Fertility quickly returns after it is removed.

The etonogestrel implant does not contain estrogen. It may be a good choice for women who want to use a hormonal form of birth control, but have had side effects with estrogen in the past.

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