I wanted to talk about the contraceptive implant and how I really, really didn’t like it. Firstly, I have to say that we are all individual and obviously our bodies work differently*- but some may identify with what I am about to talk about and why I now feel in a very good place when it comes to my reproductive organs.
As females we all somehow learn about contraception one way or another. I have always been super organised person, so I started myself on the contraceptive pill in my teens. Of course us girls talk amongst ourselves and I learnt more about the implant from a friend who had been using it for years without any issues. Having just started a new serious relationship at the ripe age of 25 I thought it would be a great time to rely on a contraception that didn’t involve the possibility of forgetting to take it. Even being an organised person, I didn’t want the chance of forgetting.
It was simple enough to organise and have done. A simple appointment was made at the family planning clinic after work where they explained everything including all of the possible disadvantages that may or not affect me, and bam it was in. It didn’t hurt during or afterwards, but it was uncomfortable….. I knew I had something in my arm but I could never forget about it. If I bent my arm or twisted it at a certain angle, I could feel it protruding my skin. Only upside to this was freaking out the new boyfriend who felt queasy just looking at it.
Then came the mood swings and loss of sex drive. To be honest this was a bit of blur. But from what I could remember though….. I was a bitch. I was moody and I was emotional. I felt like I was about to have my period without actually having it. Every. Single. Day. And trust me, this isn’t the best mood to be in, especially when you have just begun a new relationship. Somehow he has stuck with me….. not sure why…..
Let’s get to the nitty-gritty. The periods. In the 8 months that I managed to keep the implant in (without tearing it out) I had about 2 periods. You think that’s great? Wrong. They were painful and heavy and lasted around 10 days each. Not my finest moments. When I complained about this to the doc, their solution was to put me on the pill aswell, instead of removing the implant all together. I understand they were just doing their job and it was their medical professional opinion and I respect that, but it just made things worse. My skin broke out in spots which I never suffered with before and I put on more weight than I did when I was just on the pill. (This could be linked with depressive over eating rather than the implant itself, which in my opinion is linked with this issue).
I returned to the doc 3 more times with various begging and pleading before they finally gave in and removed it.
I made the decision afterwards not to have any hormone based contraception in my body and to just try the good old natural way. Yeh it took a few months to get my periods synced but no longer did I cry for no reason (unless it was reading an emotional book or watching a cute dog on TV). No longer was I paranoid or overeating at the smallest issue. I was no longer depressed or bitchy (Although I have my moments). My head felt clearer and my body felt more natural. Yes there is the monthly friend who visits but at least I know when it is arriving and how long for. My boyfriend knows that for around 3 of 4 days a month he needs to give me space and buys me wine. Oh and he knows that if there’s no glove, then there’s no love. He’s now used to that and is very supportive (most of the time) – yeh this isn’t ideal and I thought I would hate it, but I don’t regret my decision to not use any hormone based contraception.
Like I said, everyone is different and this may not happen to everyone. I have one friend that didn’t have an issue, but I’ve had another friend who has gone through exactly the same as me and can identify with all of the symptoms. If you too are confused then try what I’ve tried. Give yourself some time to de-stress and get to know your mind and body again without hormones affecting you. Body health and mental health is important.
You can find more about the advantages and disadvantages on the NHS website .
*I am not a doctor or have been medically trained at all. These findings are my opinion only based on my body and mind.