My Contraceptive Implant Experience

PERSONAL

I recently posted about my experience with the contraceptive pill and the response was totally overwhelming. I cannot thank you all enough for taking the time to share your stories and open up a discussion on a topic we could all do with knowing a bit more about!

As that post seemed to go down so well I thought I would do a follow up about my experience with the contraceptive implant (Nexplanon) – which a few of you did request.

Learn more about the contraceptive implant on their page: https://www.nexplanon.com/

I got the implant around 3 years ago and I kept it for one year before I got it removed. The experience was wholly negative which is why I chose to have it removed in the end – I really don’t have that much luck with hormone contraception!

I visited the sexual health clinic in my GP surgery when I was in year 12 after being a bit fed up of taking a pill every single morning and thought that the ease of the implant would be a lot better suited to my very lackadaisical lifestyle. Within minutes of chatting to a lovely lady I was referred to my nearest clinic that could perform the procedure and I was there that evening getting the implant.. implanted.

Getting the implant inserted

Before you get the implant, you take a pregnancy test when you go in as well as have a little sit down with a specialist so you know exactly what you’ve signed up for. The procedure itself has very mixed responses in terms of pain. In general, I don’t deal with pain amazingly well or amazingly bad – I would say I am pretty average. The procedure was horrible for me and I did not find it a breeze like my friend who was with me.

First, I had a local anesthetic that numbed my upper left arm where it would be inserted and the area around it. A small incision was made and then, despite not feeling anything when she tested my skin, it felt like someone was digging around and washing up in my arm. It was honestly absolutely horrible. Granted, it was over in seconds but the shock after not expecting to feel anything and instead feel the weirdest sensation was nasty.

I then got my arm bandaged up and it was sore as hell for quite some time. The incision does leave a tiny little dot of a scar but nothing some bio oil can’t fix.

My experience

It was basically down hill from here. As you may have seen from my last post, I have to take a triphase pill with a mix of hormones and different strengths. The implant doesn’t work in this way at all. So, as you may expect, I had the delight of a constant period. YAY. Basically everything I didn’t want. The lady who had inserted it told me that this may be a side effect and that retaking my pill for a little while may be necessary to help re balance my hormones after such a change. So I tried it and luckily, all was grand!

However…. When I decided to come off, the constant bleeding started again. Basically, it was a mess unless I took the pill too which was the exact opposite of what I wanted.

They do really want you to give it a solid effort if you get the implant so I tried this pill technique on and off for about 10 months before I finally had enough.

Removing the implant

After about a year I got the implant removed. I went to my local clinic and she did it right there and then. And guess what? This procedure was worse than the insertion. What ended up happening was that my implant either bent or broke and she was struggling to get it out of my arm. This meant it felt like someone was having a tug of war with my arm and my arm was losing – not great. This obviously doesn’t happen to everyone, please remember that! The procedure was still very fast and reasonably simple, despite the hiccup, and I was so relieved to have it removed I didn’t think too much about the pain aspect.

I am definitely glad I had it out as it just didn’t work for me. The implant is something where if it doesn’t work now, it won’t work later on so you have one shot really.

The implant is a great contraceptive in terms of making your life considerably easier and being very effective. Unfortunately it wasn’t the contraceptive number one for me but a lot of people I know had amazing experiences and still continue to use it. Please don’t let my bad experience put you off also – everyone is different.

Have you ever had the implant? What was your experience?

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56 Comments

  1. August 16, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    Thank you so much for your honesty! I admire how you can talk about your experiences! x

  2. August 16, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    Ugh, inserting and taking out the implant sounded incredibly horrible. Glad you removed it since it wasn’t working for you! I don’t think I’d ever try the implant myself though, I’ve always thought it was pretty gross when I could feel and see my friends’ have it in their arms. 😕

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:24 pm

      Ah I didn’t even mention the feeling it bit! My boyfriend used to hate it so much aha!! It was genuinely horrible but crazy how it was easy and painless for my friend and worked so well for her. Hey ho, bodies are all so different! xx

  3. August 16, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    The procedure definitely isn’t one for the squeamish – when I last had one removed, there was a fair bit of blood. After three-ish years of it, I’m still not 100% sold on it, but I’m prepared to put up with the inconveniences for the sake of not having to remember to take something on a regular basis. Thanks for opening up about your experience of it – always reassuring to know you’re not the only one in these situations 🙂

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Totally agree! I think you need to be aware that the procedure can be a lil nasty but like you said, the way in benefits your life in not having to remember something else day to day is just fab. Such a shame it didn’t work out! xx

  4. August 16, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    Oh no! This doesn’t sound nice! It makes me all squeamish thinking about it! I’d rather stick to the pill than try that! thanks for sharing your experience! 🙂

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      It wasn’t at all! Crazy how well it works for some people and not others! xx

  5. sewtonya
    August 16, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    Nope. As annoying as it can be to take a pill every day I’ll still do it. I don’t want anything implanted in me in my arm or down there 🙊 I just take it when I take all my other daily supplements and I’m good!

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      Well I’m totally glad you found something that works for you, that’s all that matters! Totally like your standpoint on it as well! xx

  6. August 16, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    Eep. I’m very squeamish, so I knew the implant could never be an option for me. I’ve never had trouble with the pill which I’m thankful for. Thanks for sharing Ella, I’m sorry it was such an unpleasant experience.

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:28 pm

      These things happen, I guess! I’m so glad you have a method that works well for you though!! xxx

  7. August 16, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    Mine was absolutely awful! First they held me in a room until I had peed to prove I wasnt pregnant, then when they eventually got the results, they forgot to numb my arm, so they just stick the thing right in, the first one they did, broke mid placement so she had to scrale around to get it out, the second try was just as painful. You’re meant to be able to feel your implant but she has put mine too deep so i had to go for scans to find it. My implant and moved around to the outside of my arm and was stuck (not exactly what its meant to do). Honestly the worst thing I have ever had. To get it removed I had to have surgery because if the way it was lodged in my arm. Definitely not worth the pain or aggrovasion 🙈

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:34 pm

      Jeeeez that sounds like total hell. I am honestly so sorry that happened to you, what an absolute nightmare. Thank God you have it out now and the ordeal is all over. I hope you have found something that is a lot less hassle now!! xxx

  8. August 16, 2017 / 11:40 pm

    amazing words – you have made me feel a lot more comfortable at thinking I’m not the only one struggling. As much as it is terrible to experience, I always felt so alone in this process, nice to feel like I can finally relate to someone xxx

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:32 pm

      I am so so sorry that you have been struggling but I’m so glad you feel you can relate. It is so important to not feel alone in these types of things and feel like there are people out there discussing it. My email is always open if you want to chat ellamaygarrett@gmail.com xxx

  9. August 17, 2017 / 9:22 am

    I had the exact same problem with the implant – it was an absolute nightmare! And taking it out was one of the worst experiences I’ve had – just thinking about it still makes me squirm haha. Really great to see these topics being talked about more openly online x

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Thank you so much! Ah I’m so sorry you had such a similar experience – glad I just got it out and got rid of it in the end! xx

  10. August 17, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    I haven’t had an implant, but I’ve read enough negative experiences to steer myself very clear of them. I’m sorry you had such a rough experience! Yuck! I’m glad you shared this information – as it will help many girls! I love hearing everyone’s opinions on “controversial” topics like this that aren’t discussed as often. 🙂

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by! I am thinking of making it more of a regular thing on my blog because the discussion it has started on these kind of topics is just brilliant and I love that so many people are sharing there experiences and learning from one another! xx

  11. August 17, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    I love how honest this is, I was considering the implant after getting persistent headaches when on my break from the pill but now I have had second thoughts about the implant as it doesn’t seem such an easy process.

    adellbaker.com

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:21 pm

      It is definitely worth researching as it works well for so many people – I think we are only ever really vocal when it is a bad experience! But definitely, obviously, being aware of what can happen (in the negative sense) is important to be aware of too. I hope you find something that works because constant headaches isn’t good at all! x

  12. August 17, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    I tried the Nexplanon but got it taken out after two months. Lol on my birthday actually. Was a nice gift. I bled all the time, my hair was always greasy, I was always sweating, and had serious cramps. My periods have always been light and painless. So experiencing that wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t bad getting it implanted. They had to shoot me up a couple of times cause I guess my body doesn’t take anesthetic well. When they removed it, it took about half an hour because mine was bent too.

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:19 pm

      Oh my gosh that totally sounds like hell, I’m so sorry you went through that 🙁 xxx

  13. August 17, 2017 / 9:21 pm

    Oh dear…definitely not for me!!! I think people must have positive experiences…but it sounds a little too invasive! Thanks for sharing that, it’s made my mind up that Mr. should have a vasectomy…heheh!

    Btw, I was nominated for a music tag, my post will be up on Saturday and I put your name up…no pressure, just a bit of fun if you feel like it.

    As usual, great post 💕😺xxx

    • August 17, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      I mean my friend totally swore by it which is why I went for it initially! Compared to so many other forms, it totally is. Luckily, I don’t mind those kind of things… when they go right!! Just my luck eh? Hahhaha well I am very glad I helped.

      Oh really? That actually sounds so cool, I will look out for it! xx

  14. August 17, 2017 / 10:07 pm

    I hated the implant it made me go crazy! My experience with the implant is similar to yours my body rejected it x

    • August 19, 2017 / 4:52 pm

      Really? Ah that sucks! Shame it doesn’t work well for everyone really! xx

  15. August 17, 2017 / 10:37 pm

    One of my ex colleague got it and then got an infection from it so I was not very impressed… it doesn’t seem to be too popular in AUS though…

  16. August 18, 2017 / 5:37 am

    I’ve never had an implant, but I had an IUD inserted almost 2 months ago. It was very, very painful! Worst pain ever! Thankfully the cramping has gone down and the bleeding has decreased. I’m doing pretty well with it, with only occasional cramps and very light bleeding that doesn’t last long. I like that I don’t have to remember to take a pill everyday.

    • August 19, 2017 / 4:55 pm

      That is what I’m interested in getting but I’m concerned about excessive bleeding as I usually get that anyway as a side effect to contraception! Makes me really nervous to try it out! xx

      • August 20, 2017 / 3:03 am

        I understand. It’s a hard decision to make not knowing how it would effect you. I naturally only get 2 or 3 periods a year. I’ve been that since I started when I was 11. When I would have periods the cramps were horrible. I have endometriosis, I found out when I had to have a cyst removed from my ovary. They burned the endo tissue off. Anyhow, it’s always something though isn’t it? Xx

        • August 20, 2017 / 4:20 pm

          Gosh what an ordeal! No exactly, there is always something!! Xx

          • August 21, 2017 / 5:52 am

            Well good luck to you in whatever you decide! ❤ xx

  17. August 18, 2017 / 6:33 am

    Thank you for sharing! I’m on the pill and was considering other options; It helps hearing people’s personal experiences!

    • August 19, 2017 / 4:55 pm

      So glad that it has been useful – exactly what I wanted! xx

  18. August 18, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    I was actually going to get that implant, a few years ago when I was 11. But I got a different more effective one that required proper anesthetic and it didn’t go in my arm! I had a very, very rough time when I got my period when I was 10. Not gonna put it lightly – it was fucking horrible. It was ruining my young life, my period lasted months and I wore hugeee pillow like pads. Fast forward to now, it’s under control but now I face chronic pelvic pain. Not fun! I like how you’ve written a post about your experience, perhaps one day I’ll share my story in my blog. But honestly, years and years of that was dreadful, words can’t describe. I’m actually afraid of my period now – I get panic attacks and flashbacks as silly as that sounds. It’s a shame how that experience has traumatised me so badly.
    Thank you again for sharing this, and I’m so sorry for unloading all this on you. It just felt right to, you know? Xx

    • August 19, 2017 / 4:58 pm

      No no thank you so so much for sharing. That’s exactly what I was hoping for when I posted this! I wanted to allow people to talk about all kinds of experiences with contraception. I got my period really young too but luckily I never suffered with it. That sounds so terrible and I am so sorry that you have truly been through the wars with it; that’s not fair at all. One day you should definitely share your story, it may help with your anxiety about periods now? I’m so glad you have things under control now! Lots of love xxx

  19. August 18, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    Omg I am so sorry you had such a bad experience with the implant. But thank you for sharing your story and not sugar coating the situation and actually telling us what happened! Well done 🙂 xxx

    • August 19, 2017 / 4:59 pm

      Thank you so much for this comment, shows that I actually achieved what I wanted! xxx

  20. August 18, 2017 / 9:47 pm

    OMG the remouval looks terrifing! Something similar happened to me while I was taking my blood taken, where the doctor had to search the vein in my arm and I felt the same way you did. Other than that I like that you talked about this things, my sister’s bf got the implant but it really worked for her. It amazes me the way how our bodies work! Would you mind check out my page? It would mean the world to me! Xxx
    Love, Mimi

    blushydarling.com

    • August 19, 2017 / 5:00 pm

      Ahh that sounds horrible 🙁 I know, that’s exactly what I mean!! Crazy how it works so well for others and not myself. Of course lovely 🙂 Thank you for stopping by xx

  21. August 18, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    I must admit, I have always been alright on the implant. Apart from the removal which was similar to yours and left me bruised for weeks. Apparently they had put the first one in too deep.

    • August 19, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      Oh really, ouchhh! I am so glad it has worked well for you though – important that we’re vocal about the positive experiences as well as the negative! xx

  22. August 18, 2017 / 11:55 pm

    I had the implant about 5/6 years ago. It was nothing but a nightmare – excessive weight gain, month-long periods, it even came with countless pregnancy scares as my cycle was so uncertain that I didn’t know when I was going to start my period! I had it twice (first time around I was single so didn’t really have any worries about weight etc), but when I had the second one and the preggo scares came into play I wanted the thing out! The removal was the weirdest experience I have ever had – and quite frankly I never want to go through that again! I have stuck to the pill and it’s staying that way – at least I know where I stand! xx

    • August 19, 2017 / 5:02 pm

      Oh my gosh that sounds like a constant nightmare!! Jeeez! I am so glad you have something now that you trust and can rely on! Thank you for sharing xx

  23. August 22, 2017 / 10:11 pm

    This sounds not a good experience and I wouldn’t want to experience that I saw the commercials and I thought about it cause I never remember the exact same time I drink the pill everyday but I guess I will stick to the pill 🤣 thank you for sharing xx

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