Nexplanon : The insertion

I'm a big fan of long-acting contraceptives. Being painfully forgetful doesn't make for an ideal situation when it comes to the usual pill-type baby-proofing! Before this, I was on depo-provera injections every 12 weeks for 2 and a half years which was way too long.

To cut a long story short, for the past 3 weeks I have been taking the progesterone-only pill 'Cerazette' and today was the first appointment I could get with my GP to get the implant fitted. I could have probably got an earlier appointment with another doctor who was trained in it but for the sake of minimising stress and all that, I was happy to wait.

I did want to record the insertion procedure but it was just too difficult :( I did find a pretty decent video on YouTube but it's from the USA so it's a bit different to what you'd have here, but it should give you a general idea of what to expect if you need more of a visual than what I'm going to try and present to you now :

When you agree to have the implant, you'll probably need to collect it from the pharmacy on the day of your appointment. Luckily for me, when I collected my order of Cerazette, this was in the package too so you get a bonus peek at what to expect! :) 

This is the sterile package containing the implant. Obviously, if you do happen to get your hands on this prior to the appointment don't open it to examine the needle or how the implant comes out.. ;)

* cue dramatic reveal music *

I know it looks bad. It's a big needle! But, you won't feel anything by the time this contraption comes near your arm.

The first part of your appointment is checking that you understand what the implant does, how it is inserted and what side-effects you may experience. You'll also have to be 100% sure you're not pregnant, so you might have to take a test.  

Once you're both agreed, you'll go and lay down on the bed-type-thing and hold your non-writing arm out to point the underside of your forearm towards the ceiling. Your GP will position your arm to where it needs to be and find the correct placement for the implant to be inserted.

This part is the worst. Before the implant, comes the local anesthetic. It's a long, thin needle which produces a stinging, burning type sensation which can be rather uncomfortable if you've never experienced it before! Take deep breaths, don't look and count to 10. It'll be over before you know it and then you won't feel anything at all!

The first time I had this injection, the numbing sensation felt like there was a gel expanding in my arm! It was pretty crazy. Your GP will leave the drug to work it's magic for a couple of minutes while he gets the next part of the procedure ready.

You will get a plastic sheet to place under your arm and your GP will check that your arm is numb before he proceeds with the insertion. You might feel some pressure and pushing, but no pain or anything distressing. The needle is inserted entirely, then the purple lever is pulled completely down to release the implant into your arm, then the needle comes out and it's over!

Your GP will put a steri-strip on the insertion site then ask you to feel where the implant is, so you are both in agreement it is there and you will notice if it does decide to shift! This may or may not gross you out slightly.

You will get a pressure bandage to wear for the next 2 days and you must leave the steri-strip on until it drops off.

That's it!! :) The whole thing will take 10 minutes at the most.

You will be given this card to keep in your purse, just incase you're in an accident and can't tell them about the implant they will see on your x-rays!

That's about all there is to it! You will get some pretty hilarious bruising and for the first day your arm will feel like it's waking up from the worlds most epic dead arm attack in the history of the world but that's all. I have to continue to take Cerazette for the next 7 days to make sure I'm 100% protected, as the implant takes a few days to get into your bloodstream.

I think I deserved a treat today! But maybe I'm just greedy... Meh!

So there we go! I really hope this has been helpful and put some anxieties to rest. I was so, so terrified the first time I had this implant but it truly is nothing to be scared of at all. If that's coming from me, you know you'll be alright!! ;)

I'll keep updating you all with how the bruising progresses so you can laugh at how daft it is. 

Please ask any questions you have, no matter how small or perhaps TMI they might be - as this is girl stuff we're talking here! It doesn't have to be in the comments section, my email is at the top of the page. 


  1. You are far braver than me. Implant scares me, it's the longevity. Glad it's gone okay for you :)

    1. Ohhhhhhh! :( I was freaked out by that too. My mum had one of the first 'editions' of the contraceptive implant back in the 90's and it's burned into my memory. She had 5 straws in her arm that were really prominent and oh my gosh..... I think she had to have it removed because one moved too deep. It really is so safe now chick. What's your biggest concern about it lasting 3 years? xx

  2. Wow, I have one of these but I've never actually seen inside the box, or the needle! Looks so scary, I didn't realise :) My Dr just does it and I look away, although to be fair once you have the anaesthetic you can't feel a thing so it's not scary at all. I'm on the last year of my third one and I would 100% recommend them, they have been really good to me. This will hopefully be my last one though as I am hoping in a year or two babies might be on the cards, but we shall see when the time comes :)


    1. Sorry about that chick! ;) Bonus bravery points?
      I'm hoping this time I won't have as many girl problems as the depo is finally out of my system. Babies eh? Ahhhhhh fingers crossed! :) I love that the implant doesn't impact on your fertility. Huge plus point!! Xx

  3. Your brave hun! I'd be to scared to get that done!!

    1. I was petrified the first time hun, but once it's all healed up you don't have do worry about prescriptions or pill timings or any of that stuff again! Totally worth it ;) What scares you? For me, it was being able to feel the implant under my skin. Xx

  4. I just got mine today. (In the USA) the pressure bandage is the most annoying thing. Everything elsd was fine.


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