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.
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?