Why Does My Nexplanon Hurt Months Later?

Why Does My Nexplanon Hurt Months Later

Lots of women see Nexplanon as a big help, providing reliable, long-term birth control with little maintenance.

However, it’s common to experience discomfort around the implant site, even months after it has been inserted.

This article explores potential reasons for ongoing Nexplanon pain and offers tips for successful pain management.

Understanding Nexplanon

Before diving into reasons for Nexplanon pain, it’s important to understand how the implant is placed.

Nexplanon is inserted just under the skin of your upper arm, in a quick and relatively painless procedure.

The implant contains etonogestrel, a synthetic progestin hormone that prevents pregnancy by thickening cervical mucus and thinning the uterine lining.

Once inserted, the implant is effective for up to three years and can be removed at any time if desired.

How Does Nexplanon Work?

Nexplanon works by slowly releasing the hormone etonogestrel into your body over a period of 3 years.

This constant release of hormones prevents ovulation and thickens cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to reach an egg.

It also thins the uterine lining, reducing the chances of a fertilized egg implanting.

This combination of actions makes Nexplanon over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Common Side Effects of Nexplanon

Shortly after insertion, many users experience common side effects such as:

  • Irregular menstrual bleeding patterns, which may include heavy bleeding
  • No menstrual bleeding (amenorrhea)
  • Headaches
  • Acne
  • Weight gain

Uncommon Side Effects of Nexplanon

While the above list comprises the usual suspects, Nexplanon can also cause some less common yet serious side effects, including:

  • Changes in menstrual periods
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Mood changes
  • Breast pain
  • Nausea

If you’re feeling pain after a few months, it’s crucial to identify the possible cause.

Possible Reasons for Nexplanon Pain

Possible Reasons for Nexplanon Pain

  1. Improper implant insertion

If the Nexplanon implant was not placed correctly under the skin during insertion, it could lead to lingering discomfort or pain.

Inadequate technique or depth may irritate the surrounding tissues or cause the implant to shift.

  1. Inflammation or infection

Any time a foreign object is introduced to the body, there’s a risk of inflammation or infection at the site.

These complications can occur immediately after placement or develop over time, causing pain or discomfort months later.

  1. Nerve irritation

The area where Nexplanon is inserted is close to the nerves. If the implant is placed too close to a nerve or moves and presses against a nerve over time, it could result in persistent pain.

Numbness or tingling sensations may also occur.

  1. Scar tissue formation

The body’s natural response to a foreign object can sometimes include forming scar tissue around it.

This scar tissue can become painful, especially if it constricts or puts pressure on the implant.

  1. Hormonal changes causing sensitivity:

The hormonal changes triggered by the implant may heighten sensitivity or pain perception in some individuals, either at the implant site or elsewhere in the body.

This could manifest as a general discomfort or tenderness.

Also Read: Stop Brown Spotting on Nexplanon

Factors Contributing to Persistent Pain

Understanding the factors contributing to persistent pain post-Nexplanon insertion is crucial for addressing and mitigating discomfort. These include:

  • Body’s reaction to a foreign object: The body may continue to react to the Nexplanon implant as a foreign object, maintaining a state of inflammation that can lead to prolonged pain.
  • Individual pain tolerance and perception: Variation in individual pain thresholds can mean that what is a minor irritation for one person might be perceived as more severe pain by another.
  • Activity level: Higher physical activity might cause movement of the implant against neighboring tissues, irritating those areas and resulting in pain.
  • Hormonal fluctuations: While Nexplanon releases hormones at a consistent rate, the way individuals respond to these hormonal levels can differ, which might worsen pain sensitivity near the implant site.
  • Health conditions affecting tissue response: Pre-existing health conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, may alter how the body reacts to the implant, possibly leading to an increased risk of painful reactions.

Tips for Managing Nexplanon Pain

Tips for Managing Nexplanon Pain

Over-the-counter pain medication

Taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate the discomfort associated with Nexplanon pain.

It’s crucial to follow the directions when using these medications and seek advice from a healthcare provider if you intend to use them routinely for pain control.

Cold compresses

Using a cold compress on the implant area briefly can help decrease swelling and numb the pain.

Remember to wrap the ice pack in cloth to avoid skin contact and ice burns.

Gentle massage

Massaging the area around the implant gently can help alleviate discomfort and reduce inflammation.

However, it’s essential to avoid applying excessive pressure or massaging too hard, as this could cause further irritation.

Physical activity

Staying physically active can help decrease the pain and discomfort associated with Nexplanon.

Engaging in low-impact exercises, such as walking or swimming, can improve blood flow and promote healing.

Heat therapy

Using a heating pad or taking a warm bath can provide relief for any muscle tension or discomfort around the implant site.

Remember to use caution when applying heat to the area and avoid using heat for extended periods.

Removal of the implant

If the pain persists or becomes unbearable, removing the Nexplanon implant may be an option to consider.

Seek advice from your healthcare provider before deciding.

Remember that Nexplanon is effective for up to three years and can be removed at any time if desired.

When to Seek Medical Advice

If the pain persists or becomes severe, it’s crucial to seek medical advice from a healthcare provider.

Additionally, if you experience any other symptoms or notice changes in your body that concern you, it’s essential to consult with your doctor.

Some signs to be cautious of are:

  • Severe and persistent pain
  • Signs of infection (redness, swelling, discharge) at the implant site
  • Bleeding or bruising at the implant site that does not improve over time
  • Changes in your general health, such as changes in mood or weight gain

Remember to keep track of any symptoms, how long they last, and their severity before visiting a healthcare provider.

This information can help them determine the cause of your pain and provide the best course of treatment.

Final Thoughts

Pain or discomfort after Nexplanon insertion can be concerning, but it’s essential to understand that it is a normal side effect for some individuals.

Knowing what to expect and how to manage the pain can help alleviate any stress or worry associated with it.

Additionally, seeking medical advice if necessary can ensure proper care and treatment for your specific situation.

Key Takeaways

  • Persistent pain after Nexplanon insertion is a common side effect that can last for weeks to months.
  • Factors contributing to persistent pain include inflammation, nerve irritation, scar tissue formation, hormonal changes, and individual differences in pain tolerance and activity levels.
  • Managing Nexplanon pain can involve using over-the-counter medication, cold compresses, gentle massage, physical activity, heat therapy, and possibly removal of the implant.
  • If pain persists or becomes severe, seeking medical advice is crucial.
  • It’s essential to keep track of any symptoms and communicate them with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • Remember that Nexplanon is effective for up to three years and can be removed at any time if desired.


Is pain after Nexplanon insertion normal?

Yes, it is normal to experience pain or discomfort after Nexplanon insertion.

This side effect can last for weeks to months and may vary in severity depending on individual factors.

Can Nexplanon cause nerve damage?

While Nexplanon is generally safe, there have been rare cases where the implant has caused nerve damage.

What does nerve damage from Nexplanon feel like?

Nerve damage from Nexplanon can cause a variety of symptoms, including numbness, tingling, or burning sensations around the implant site.

It may also cause weakness or loss of sensation in the arm where the implant was inserted.

Can I remove Nexplanon if I’m experiencing pain?

Yes, removal of the Nexplanon implant is an option if the pain persists or becomes unbearable.

Consult with your healthcare provider before making a decision, as they can provide guidance and alternatives if necessary.

Can Nexplanon pain be managed without medication?

Yes, some methods for managing Nexplanon pain do not involve medication.

These include using cold compresses, gentle massage, physical activity, and heat therapy.

How long does Nexplanon pain last?

Nexplanon pain can last for weeks to months, but it varies from person to person.

If the pain persists or becomes severe, seek medical advice from a healthcare provider.

What should I do if my Nexplanon moves?

If the implant has moved or is no longer in place, consult with your healthcare provider immediately.

They may need to remove and replace the implant if necessary.

Why does my Nexplanon hurt after 6 months?

Nexplanon pain can occur at any time during the three years of use, but it is most common in the first few months after insertion.

If you experience pain or discomfort after 6 months, consult with your healthcare provider for advice and potential solutions.

Useful Resources

WebMD- Nexplanon Implant

MedicalNewsToday- Nexplanon side effects


The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is important to seek professional medical advice and not disregard it or delay seeking it based on the information read here. While we strive to provide accurate and reliable information, we cannot guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability for any purpose. Using the information in this document is your responsibility and carries inherent risks. We are not liable for any losses or damages resulting from the use of our content.



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