ZocdocAnswersI have a Nexplanon bar, could I be pregnant? Or what's wrong?

Question

I have a Nexplanon bar, could I be pregnant? Or what's wrong?

When i first got the nexplanon bar,in march, i started bleeding big clumps,blood clots is what my doctor called them, and they were as big as my hand. they said was normal, but then i bled for two months straight and quit for two months then started back again and it was just spotting, but then i quit now, i started bleeding about 3 days ago, and it was spotting and it was normal bleeding like ive experienced, it was brownish and sometimes black on the tampon, like it is when you end your period. but I'm cramping bad, like its a normal heavy period. whats wrong?

Answer

Implantable contraceptive devices like Nexplanon are among the most effective forms of contraception available. They typically have failure rates (pregnancy) of less than 1%, therefore it is quite unlikely that you have become pregnant with the device in place. However, it is technically possible, and you should consult with your primary care or OB GYN doctor, who may decide that a pregnancy test is worthwhile to rule out that possibility. A much more likely cause of your bleeding is simply that many women who use Nexplanon do experience unpredictable and unscheduled bleeding with the device in place. This is a well know side effect of the medication, which may affect up to 15% of all women who use the device. Sometimes this bleeding tends to go away over time the longer the device is in place, but this is not always the case, and some women continue to have irregular bleeding for as long as they have the device in place. Your doctor will be able to advise you on this and determine if this is what is causing your bleeding. If so, and if the amount and frequency of bleeding is intolerable to you, you may need to have the device removed and substituted for a different form of contraception. In any case, please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.