I want to get the birth control implant but I’ve heard about a lot of negative side effects like getting your period for many weeks and sometimes many months, how long do these side effects last? And how common are they?

The birth control implant (AKA Implanon or Nexplanon) is a really great birth control option for lots of women because it’s easy to use and can last for a longer time than most other types of birth control. If you want protection from pregnancy that can last up to three years, it may be a good choice for you.

But with any medication there are some possible side effects. For the implant, one of the most common side effects is spotting (light bleeding between periods). For every 10 women who use the implant, one will get it removed because of this irregular bleeding. Not everyone gets spotting, though, and for many people who do it goes away after a few months. There’s no way to know for sure if you’ll have spotting with the implant until you try it.

Spotting when you’re on most types of birth control is not dangerous or something to worry about if it happens to you. But if you think you’ll find it super hard to deal with then the implant might not be the best method for you. Some other methods like the hormonal IUD, the pill, the ring, and the patch are less likely to cause spotting.

Talk with your doctor or nurse or the staff at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center about finding the best method for you.

-Emily at Planned Parenthood