The implant (Nexplanon is the brand name; previously Implanon) is a teeny-tiny rod that’s inserted under the skin of your upper arm. It’s so small, in fact, most people can’t see it once it’s inserted—which means it can be your little secret, if you’re so inclined. The implant releases progestin, a hormone that keeps your ovaries from releasing eggs and thickens your cervical mucus—which helps block sperm from getting to the egg in the first place. It prevents pregnancy for up to 5 years. Not too shabby.
The full price of the implant can range from $450 - $848. To see how this translates over time, here’s what it would cost to pay for the implant month-to-month at full price: * **Cost per month over 1 year:** $38 - $71 * **Cost per month over 5 years:** $8 - $14
* **Payment assistance:** Check with your [local family planning clinics](/where_to_get_it) and find out if they offer free or low-cost implants (many do).
How to Use It
Once the implant is inserted, it's as easy to use as, well, doing nothing. That's right. The implant just sits there, under your skin, offering protection against pregnancy for up to 5 years.Here's how the whole thing goes: You visit a health care provider, they gather all your medical info and give you a physical exam, then they numb a small area of your upper arm with a painkiller and insert the implant under your skin. And you're done. If you get the implant during the first five days of your period, lucky you: You're set with pregnancy protection from that very moment. If you're outside of those first five days, you'll need to use a back up method for the following week. (Condoms, internal condoms, diaphragm, sponge, or emergency contraception.) When it's time to take the implant out, your provider will numb your arm again, make a tiny cut in your skin, and remove the implant. If you're interested in continuing to use the implant, they can put another one in at the same time.
There are positive and negative things to say about each and every method. And everyone's different—so what you experience may not be the same as what your friend experiences.