Contraceptive Pearl: Nexplanon – The New Single Rod Progestin Implant

Do some of your patients wrinkle their noses at the idea of an intrauterine device (IUD)? Don’t forget to suggest the progestin implant! Women who want to avoid having an object inserted into the uterus may feel more comfortable having a plastic rod under the skin of the arm.

Progestin implant insertion is very easy, and removal is simple, too. The most common side effect is spotting—which may last as long as the implant remains in place. Some women experience weight gain, headaches, acne, and/or skin changes in the upper arm. After insertion, the implant provides three years of super-high-efficacy contraception without any further action from its user.

Doctors who want to provide the progestin implant must be trained by a certified Nexplanon trainer. To locate a trainer visit the Nexplanon training website.

We appreciate your feedback! Please write us at with any questions, comments or additional resources to add to our list.


Helpful Resources

Progestin Implant Fact Sheet

Progestin Implant User Guide

Medical Eligibility for Initiating Contraception



Cromer BA, Smith RD, Blair JM, Dwyer J, Brown RT. A prospective study of adolescents who choose among levonorgestrel implant (Norplant), medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera), or the combined oral contraceptive pill as contraception. Pediatrics. Nov 1994;94(5):687-694.
Link to PubMed



The Reproductive Health Access Project does not accept funding from pharmaceutical companies. We do not promote specific brands of medication or contraception. The information in the Contraceptive Pearls is unbiased, based on science alone.

Contraceptive Pearls

This monthly clinical e-newsletter highlights evidence-based best practice for contraceptive care

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