Nexplanon Contraceptive Device: A Rising Trend Among Teenagers

Nexplanon device, held up by a hand

The landscape of contraceptive options has expanded significantly in recent years, offering individuals more choices to suit their preferences and lifestyles. Among the array of birth control methods, the hormonal implant Nexplanon has gained notable popularity, particularly among teenagers. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the usage of hormonal implants has surged among sexually active teenage girls, marking a significant shift in contraceptive preferences. This article delves into the features of the Nexplanon contraceptive device and its mechanism of action and explores the factors contributing to its increasing popularity among teenagers.

The Nexplanon Contraceptive Device:

The Nexplanon contraceptive device is a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) that has garnered attention for its effectiveness and convenience. It consists of a tiny rod, about the size of a matchstick, which is inserted under the skin in the upper arm. This rod releases a controlled amount of progestin, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, into the bloodstream. Progestin works by thickening cervical mucus, preventing sperm from reaching the egg, and inhibiting ovulation, providing a comprehensive approach to preventing pregnancy.

The insertion process involves using a needle slightly larger than the one commonly used for drawing blood. Dr. Anne-Marie Amies Oelschlager, chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists clinical consensus committee for gynecology, notes that despite the initial discomfort of insertion, the Nexplanon implant is widely regarded as a “forgettable method.” This is due to its longevity – once inserted, the device can effectively prevent pregnancy for up to three years without requiring any additional action or maintenance.

Popularity Among Teenagers:

Recent data from the CDC reveals a substantial increase in the adoption of Nexplanon among teenagers. Between 2015 and 2019, just over 13 percent of sexually active teenage girls opted for the hormonal implant. This marks a significant rise from the mere 0.6 percent recorded between 2006 and 2010. The reasons behind this shift in preference are multifaceted and underscore the changing dynamics of contraception among teenagers.

  1. Convenience and Effectiveness: The Nexplanon implant’s popularity is partly attributed to its effectiveness and convenience. Teenagers, often navigating busy schedules filled with school, extracurricular activities, and social engagements, find the set-it-and-forget-it nature of the implant appealing. The three-year protection it offers aligns with the transitional period many teenagers experience, providing reliable contraception without the need for daily attention.
  2. Privacy and Confidentiality: The hormonal implant offers a discreet contraceptive option, allowing teenagers to maintain privacy about their sexual health choices. Unlike daily pills or other visible contraceptive methods, the Nexplanon implant remains hidden under the skin, reducing the risk of inadvertent disclosure and contributing to a sense of autonomy for teenagers in managing their reproductive health.
  3. Parental Approval: With parental consent often required for contraceptive choices among teenagers, the Nexplanon implant may be perceived as a responsible and informed decision by parents. Its long-lasting nature and efficacy can reassure parents that their teenagers are taking a proactive approach to prevent unintended pregnancies while adhering to a birth control method with a high success rate.
  4. Education and Awareness: Increased awareness and education about contraceptive options, including Nexplanon, play a pivotal role in shaping teenagers’ choices. Schools, healthcare providers, and advocacy groups have focused on providing comprehensive information about various birth control methods, empowering teenagers to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

 

The Nexplanon contraceptive device’s rising popularity among teenagers reflects a broader shift in attitudes toward contraception, emphasizing effectiveness, convenience, and privacy. As teenagers become more proactive in managing their reproductive health, the Nexplanon implant stands out as a viable and increasingly favored option. The continued promotion of comprehensive sex education, accessibility to healthcare services, and destigmatization of contraceptive choices contribute to a landscape where teenagers can make informed decisions that align with their individual needs and preferences.

 


El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems.   Drs. Amy TengErika Balassiano, and Pooja Gupta, all members of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy), are highly trained and experienced in the field of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery.   Dr. Erika Balassiano has also completed a Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship under the supervision of world-renowned Dr. Camran Nezhat.

All of our physicians are El Camino Hospital doctors and operate and deliver at the Mountain View campus.

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