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Transitioning Off Birth Control: What to Expect After Nexplanon and Implanon Removal

June 04, 2024

Nexplanon or Implanon removal

Transitioning off birth control can be a significant change for many individuals. Understanding what to expect after the removal of implants like Nexplanon and Implanon can help ease this transition. This article will guide you through the physiological changes, immediate post-removal care, long-term health considerations, potential side effects, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Any side effects experienced while on the implant will eventually subside after removal.
  • Your menstrual cycle will likely return to its pre-implant state unless another hormonal birth control method is started.
  • Post-removal care includes managing pain and discomfort, as well as proper bandage and wound care.
  • Fertility can return quickly, so it's possible to become pregnant shortly after the implant is removed.
  • Monitoring your health through regular check-ups and health apps can help manage any long-term effects.

Physiological Changes After Nexplanon and Implanon Removal

Hormonal Adjustments

After the removal of Nexplanon or Implanon, the body undergoes significant hormonal adjustments. The synthetic hormones provided by the implant are no longer present, leading to a natural rebalancing of the body's own hormone production. This process can vary in duration and intensity among individuals. It is common to experience fluctuations in mood and energy levels as the body adapts to the absence of the implant's hormones.

Menstrual Cycle Resumption

The resumption of the menstrual cycle is another key physiological change post-removal. Unless another hormonal birth control method is initiated, the menstrual cycle typically returns to its pre-implant state. This means that any irregularities or patterns experienced before the implant are likely to reappear. Tracking the menstrual cycle using health apps can be beneficial during this transition period.

Potential Weight Fluctuations

Weight fluctuations are a potential side effect after the removal of Nexplanon or Implanon. Some individuals may experience weight loss or gain as their body adjusts hormonally. Maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise routine can help manage these changes. For those concerned about significant weight changes, consulting with a healthcare provider is advisable.

Immediate Post-Removal Care

After the removal of birth control implants like Nexplanon and Implanon, it is crucial to follow specific post-removal care instructions to ensure proper healing and avoid complications. The medical practitioner typically applies an elastic bandage to be worn for 24 hours. This compression bandage helps minimize bruising and should be kept dry. After 24 hours, the compression bandage is removed and replaced with a smaller bandage, which should be kept on for at least 3-5 days. During this period, it is normal to experience some bruising, discoloration, swelling, and pain. These symptoms are generally not a cause for concern as they are part of the body's natural healing process. Once the incision heals, normal activities can be resumed.

Long-Term Health Considerations

Fertility and Conception

After the removal of Nexplanon or Implanon, many individuals are concerned about their fertility and ability to conceive. Fertility typically returns quickly, often within a few weeks to months. However, this can vary based on individual health factors and the duration of contraceptive use. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider to understand personal fertility timelines and any potential complications.

Bone Density and Health

Long-term use of hormonal contraceptives can have an impact on bone density. Post-removal, it is important to monitor bone health, especially in individuals with a history of osteoporosis or other bone-related conditions. Engaging in weight-bearing exercises, ensuring adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, and having regular bone density screenings can help maintain bone health.

Emotional and Psychological Effects

The removal of hormonal implants can lead to emotional and psychological changes. Some individuals may experience mood swings, anxiety, or depression as their body adjusts to the absence of synthetic hormones. It is crucial to seek support from mental health professionals if these symptoms persist. Additionally, practicing self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can aid in emotional well-being.

Potential Side Effects and Their Management

After the removal of Nexplanon or Implanon, individuals may experience a range of side effects. It is crucial to understand these potential reactions and how to manage them effectively.

Skin Reactions

Skin reactions are common post-removal. These may include redness, swelling, or bruising at the site of removal. In most cases, these symptoms are mild and resolve on their own. However, if the skin reaction persists or worsens, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

Mood Swings

Hormonal adjustments following the removal of birth control implants can lead to mood swings. Emotional lability is a frequently reported side effect. To manage mood swings, individuals can engage in stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, or regular exercise. Consulting a healthcare provider for further guidance is also recommended.

Changes in Libido

Changes in libido are another potential side effect. Some individuals may experience an increase or decrease in sexual desire. This is typically temporary as the body adjusts to the new hormonal balance. Open communication with a partner and consulting a healthcare provider can help manage these changes effectively.

For those experiencing vaginal bleeding or other severe symptoms, it is essential to monitor these changes closely and seek medical advice if necessary. Additionally, using leakproof underwear can provide comfort and confidence during this transitional period.

Monitoring and Tracking Your Health

Using Health Apps

Health apps can be invaluable tools for tracking various aspects of your well-being after the removal of Nexplanon or Implanon. These apps can help monitor your menstrual cycle, track symptoms, and even remind you of upcoming medical appointments. Utilizing these digital tools can provide a comprehensive overview of your health, making it easier to identify any irregularities or patterns that may require medical attention.

Regular Medical Check-Ups

Regular medical check-ups are crucial for ensuring that your body is adjusting well post-removal. These visits allow healthcare providers to monitor your hormonal levels, bone density, and overall health. It is advisable to schedule these check-ups at least once a year, although your healthcare provider may recommend more frequent visits based on your individual needs.

Self-Examination Tips

Self-examinations can be an effective way to keep track of your health between medical appointments. This can include checking for any unusual symptoms, such as lumps or skin changes, and monitoring your menstrual cycle. Keeping a journal to note any changes can be helpful when discussing your health with your doctor. For those experiencing menstrual irregularities, using leakproof underwear can provide added comfort and confidence during this transitional period. 

When to Seek Medical Advice

Recognizing Complications

It is crucial to be vigilant about any unusual symptoms following the removal of Nexplanon or Implanon. Call your healthcare professional right away if you experience any of the following:

  • Pain in your lower leg that does not go away
  • Severe chest pain or heaviness in the chest
  • Sudden shortness of breath, sharp chest pain, or coughing blood
  • Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as a swollen face, tongue, or throat, trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Sudden severe headaches unlike your usual headaches
  • Weakness or numbness in your arm or leg, or trouble speaking
  • Sudden partial or complete blindness
  • Yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes

Consulting Healthcare Providers

Regular consultations with healthcare providers are essential for monitoring your health post-removal. They can offer guidance on managing any side effects and provide necessary treatments. It is advisable to schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that your body is adjusting well after the removal.

Emergency Situations

In some cases, immediate medical attention is required. If you encounter any of the following signs, seek emergency care:

  • Redness, consistent pain, or high body temperature (fever more than 101 degrees F) at the insertion site
  • Drainage from the insertion site
  • Severe allergic reactions

For those experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, it may be beneficial to consider using leakproof underwear to manage the situation effectively. Always consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Alternative Contraceptive Options Post-Removal

Non-Hormonal Methods

After the removal of Nexplanon or Implanon, individuals may consider non-hormonal contraceptive methods. These include barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms, which provide immediate protection against pregnancy. Additionally, behavioral methods like fertility awareness can be employed, though they require careful monitoring and discipline.

Hormonal Alternatives

For those who prefer hormonal methods, options such as contraceptive pills, patches, and intrauterine devices (IUDs) are available. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable method based on individual health needs and lifestyle.

Consulting with a Specialist

Consulting with a specialist is crucial when transitioning to a new contraceptive method. A healthcare provider can offer personalized advice and ensure that the chosen method aligns with the individual's health profile. They can also provide guidance on managing any potential side effects and complications.

For those concerned about menstrual management post-removal, using leakproof underwear can be a practical solution. This type of period underwear for women offers comfort and reliability during the transition phase.


Transitioning off birth control, particularly after the removal of implants like Nexplanon and Implanon, involves a series of physiological and hormonal adjustments. It is essential to be aware that any side effects experienced while on the implant will gradually subside post-removal. Your menstrual cycle is expected to revert to its pre-implant state unless another hormonal contraceptive method is adopted. Post-removal care is crucial; it includes managing potential numbness, soreness, and bruising at the removal site, and adhering to recommended aftercare practices to ensure proper healing. Monitoring your menstrual cycle and being vigilant about any changes can help in understanding your body's transition. For those considering pregnancy, it is possible to conceive as early as a week after the implant's removal. Overall, being informed and prepared can significantly ease the transition off birth control implants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect immediately after Nexplanon or Implanon removal?

You may experience some numbness and soreness in your arm for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers and cold packs can help manage the discomfort.

How soon can I get pregnant after removing Nexplanon or Implanon?

You may become pregnant as early as a week after the removal of the implant. If you do not wish to conceive, consider starting another birth control method.

Will my menstrual cycle return to normal after removal?

Unless you start another hormonal birth control method, your period will return to how it was before you got the implant.

How should I care for the removal site?

Wear a pressure bandage for the first 24 hours and then an adhesive bandage for 3-5 days. Keep the area covered and monitor for signs of infection.

What are the signs of infection I should watch for?

Signs of infection include redness, swelling, warmth, and discharge at the removal site. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.

Where can I get my Nexplanon removed?

You can have your Nexplanon removed by a healthcare provider. It is best to consult with your doctor to find a suitable location near you.

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