Contraceptive implants are a long-term birth control option for women. A contraceptive implant is a flexible plastic rod about the size of a matchstick that is placed under the skin of the upper arm.
It releases a low, steady dose of a progestational hormone to thicken cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus (endometrium). Contraceptive implants typically suppress ovulation as well.
One version of contraceptive implant — Implanon — was recently discontinued by its manufacturer and replaced with a newer version called Nexplanon. Nexplanon is radio opaque, which means it can be seen on X-ray, which is useful for checking the location of the implant. Nexplanon is the only contraceptive implant with Food and Drug Administration approval available in the U.S.
Jan. 09, 2015
- Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media; 2011:193.
- Nexplanon (prescribing information). Whitehouse Station, N.J.: Merck & Co. Inc.; 2014. https://www.merckconnect.com/nexplanon/prescribing-information.html. Accessed Nov. 18, 2014.
- Darney PD. Etonogestrel contraceptive implant. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 21, 2014.