My Experience With The Contraceptive Implant

Okay, so I actually originally wrote about this back in 2016 when I started my blog. The post isn’t great and it’s not very detailed, but you can read it here if you wish. I’m gonna go into a lot more detail today. Repeat, lots of detail. This is your TMI trigger warning. If you are a person that I know in real life that doesn’t want to know about this then please do not continue to read for the sake of both of us.

Thanks.

So, I was originally put on the contraceptive implant in October 2015. To be honest, I’ve always found contraception a bit difficult. Obviously I don’t want a baby any time soon, but my body doesn’t necessarily comply with that request. I’m pretty sure (99.9% which is also how effective they are) that I’m allergic to condoms. Even if I’m not then there’s definitely SOMETHING going wrong there and I just don’t wanna put myself through it ya know. 

And I’m not allowed on the ‘normal’ pill, the one which you take for 3 weeks and then have a break because of my family medical history. I’m glad that the doctors have taken this precaution though, as I’d rather be safe.

So I was put on Cerezatte. Now, the weird thing is that I was going through a lot at the time. And I started retaining water.

Yes, really.

I literally swelled up. 

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like too noticeable or anything but it made me feel crap. After 1 month, I’d had enough and wanted to try something else.

Enter Cerelle.

Cerelle did the exact same thing. Again, I cannot be 100% sure that it was actually due to this as I only tried it for a month or so, but it made me feel crap so I just stopped taking it.

I went back to the doctor and they informed me that they really didn’t want to put me on the coil (and I didn’t want to go on it either) so that I had the option of the implant or the injection.

Now, if you know me, you will know that I have quite a bad needle phobia, and both of these involved needles. I weighed up the pros and cons. The injection meant regular needles, but the implant was a bigger needle. 

Eventually, I decided just to take the plunge and get the implant.

And, for like 2.5 years, we’ve got along just fine.

I mean, I say this, but I don’t really actually know that. I was 16 when I went on the implant, and my body has changed quite a bit since. For example, I have gained weight. Part of this is definitely due to recovery (more on that here) but it is also completely possible that the hormones in the implant added to that. Likewise, my anxiety has also gradually gotten worse over the years, and, again, the implant could’ve had an effect on that.

I’m not saying that it has effected these things. I’m saying that I have absolutely 0 idea if it has and that’s what I find a little bit scary.

I don’t have a scar or anything like that and can easily feel it under my skin, so no real issues there.

But, I haven’t really had a period for 2.5 years.

I seem to have had about 1 a year and realised that it seems to occur when I’ve been unwell, but I’m unsure whether this is a coincidence or not. But, these have been about 2-3 days long at the most and, as someone who used to regularly have 9-10 day periods, I know this isn’t my usual cycle.

So, after 3 years, I had a decision to make. I just simply didn’t know whether to continue on the implant and have it replaced, or to get it removed completely. 

2 months before I was due to have the implant out, I started to experience really really really bad pain. At first, I thought it was just a dose of period pain that I tend to get for a day or two every month, but after a few days with no sign of it easing, I started to get a bit worried.

So, I asked around on twitter and instagram and actually found that a lot more people had experienced this too at this stage. It was explained to me that it is due to the hormone gradually leaving your body and your normal hormones resuming which completely makes sense to me but OUCH, I was not warned about this.

It also worries me slightly that the receptionist said that I didn’t have to worry about getting it changed in October and could wait until January if that was more convenient.

JANUARY

That was 5 months away.

There is absolutely no way on this earth that I could put up with this pain for 5 months.

So, I finally managed to convince the receptionist to let me talk to a GP, and she said that I needed it replacing ASAP. I booked an appointment a few weeks in advance, and I made the decision to have it replaced.

I made this decision because I know that the implant works for me. It has it’s downsides, but nothing like the downsides that the pills I tried had for me. Plus, I really don’t want to go through the trialling situation all over again. 

So, for the next three years, I’m going to continue on the implant.

I actually had it replaced a few days ago and, it didn’t exactly go completely smoothly, but the doctor was great.

So, a little run down.

I entered the doctor’s office very nervously but this soon went away after she explained the procedure and put my mind to rest. She said that she could clearly feel the implant under my skin, which is a good sign, and that it shouldn’t be too difficult to remove.

She did warn me that removal is much more tricky than insertion, but I felt pretty okay about it and she administered the needle to numb my arm.

After digging around for about 20 minutes (none of which I could feel, so no pain), she admitted that the implant was stuck in my tissue and that she was going to keep trying, but if it carried on then I may have to be referred.

Referral was my worst nightmare, so I agreed for her to keep trying. A few minutes later, the doctor managed to loosen it and it was out!

The doctor then re-numbed my arm a little more, and inserted my new one.

Honestly? I am not looking forward to going through it again. It’s not nice and I lost a lot of blood so felt a little weird the next day. BUT, for me, the benefits of the implant much outweigh this experience that I, realistically, only have to go through once every three years.

I have had a sore arm since and my bruise is much worse than last time, but other than that I’m okay and I’m glad that I’ve chosen to continue on the implant for the next 3 years.

What are your experiences? Lemme know in the comments!

Love,

H x

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