I’ve been on the pill for as long as I can remember. I went on it at an early age because my periods were so horrendously heavy and painful that the doctor recommended going on it to help. I suffered really badly with it, I remember going along with my mum to do the weekly food shopping and having to ring my dad to come pick me up because I was doubled over in so much period pain that I could hardly walk. I’d be in so much pain I’d feel intensely sick and tired and I’m my mood swings were pretty intense, but that could be all those teenage hormones!
As I headed further into my teens, I developed the normal teenager skin problems and the pill always helped with my spots, the pill was something I really did appreciate growing up because it worked so many wonders for me! Of course as I became sexually active it helped with that too. Taking a pill every single day didn’t seem to bother me, I’d take it every morning before school/college/work and it never was a problem. I’m not quite sure when it was but at some point during my early twenties I just got really slack with taking my pill. When I was at university my timetable and schedule was so all over the place, especially with working at weekends too. A proper routine went out the window and so taking the pill at a set time everyday never really happened.
About 2 years ago I decided to stop taking the pill all together. This was a decision I didn’t take lightly, firstly, I didn’t want to get pregnant and secondly, it’s quite inconvenient isn’t it and condom are expensive. But I decided I wanted to give my body some time off from pumping it with hormones and see how I got on au natural.
It turns out being off the pill sucks. All those problems I had in my teens re-suffered pretty quickly. My periods were regular, but began getting really heavy and painful again, my mood swings were awful, I was covered in spots and I just generally felt awful. In between my periods I’d forget how bad they were but come the end of the month I was back feeling sick and grumpy like never before.
So, I decided to take a trip to the doctors and discuss the options. I’d heard good things about the contraceptive implant but for some reason it always felt like a big deal getting something put in my arm and I toyed with the idea for quite awhile. But after weighing up the different option I decided I needed something effective for birth control that I didn’t have to worry about and 3 years is a long time to not worry about getting pregnant, so it felt like the best option for me.
I made an appointment to talk to my doctor and told her that I was 100% ready and before I knew it I was booked in for an appointment the next day. They went over the side effects thoroughly with me, making sure I wasn’t just having the implant because I’d heard that I wouldn’t have periods anymore, which did sound like a pro point for me but it was really about having a contraceptive that I didn’t have to worry about missing one morning because I was busy. So I gave everything the thumbs up and was seen the next day.
The procedure was quite quick. They inject your arm to numb it, if I said this didn’t hurt I’d be lying, needles of course almost always hurt in some way, it wasn’t awful but it was okay. I didn’t watch as she inserted the implant but she made me feel it once it was in place so that I could tell where it was, what it felt like and I can only assume to prove she had actually done it. Then before I knew it I was all bandaged up, leaflet in hand and sent on my way. Personally, my arm swelled up quite a lot and took a few days to calm down and become less painful. I had quite a big bruise but after it healed the incision scar is almost invisible and I barely even notice it’s there. If I have a proper feel around I can find it and feel it but I have no real need to do that, except when I want to check it’s still there occasionally ha ha!
As for my periods, I have to say they’ve been all over the place. Some months I have a full period, which for me is usually 4-5 days of bleeding. I’ve had a lot of spotting bleeding, sometimes it’s just once on a day, sometimes it’s a few days at a time but I certainly still have my monthly visitor. I’m sad to say I’m not one of those lucky people that haven’t had a period since but I’ve also only had my implant for about 6 months and it can take quite awhile for it to settle. I haven’t noticed any particular side effects, my mood swings were a little crazy to begin with but I’d also been off the pill for about a year before this, so having the extra hormones flying around was always going to be different at first.
My whole experience so far has been really positive, I’m really happy I’ve had the implant, I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant for at least 3 years, which is helping with all the post-wedding baby questions! The only thing I’m not looking forward to it when it needs to be removed, although that’s a long way away, I can imagine it’s not as pleasant as having it put it! I think currently I’d be happy to have another put it after this one, I haven’t had any negative reasons to not go ahead with it all again!
I know this post has been super long and rambley, but I hope in some way this post has helped some of you understand the contraceptive implant a bit more! If you have any questions or want to share your experience please let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!