A matter of hours after giving birth to Leo, one of the midwifery team asked me what contraception I was planning to use now my baby was here. I don’t know about you but I found this question a bit pointless, surely after just going through the horrendous pain of labour sex is the last thing on any woman’s mind? Maybe hours after just giving birth this might not seem important but at some point, unless you want lots of kids, it is something you are going to have to think about.
Just over a year ago, after months of umming and ahhing over what contraception to use, I got the contraceptive implant Nexplanon fitted. I hated being on the pill, I don’t like injections and the thought of the coil terrified me so in the end I decided on this little implant, no bigger a than hair grip, that lives in your arm and messes with your life.
I can say it definitely works as a contraceptive, 13 months and no little surprises. However, it does come with a list of problems. I know that every woman reacts differently to contraception and not everyone has the same experience but, for me personally, the implant is just not working out any more, In a few weeks time the doctor will be cutting my arm open and getting that nightmare stick out of there.
I don’t want to put anyone off but if you are planning on getting the implant fitted here are some things you might want to consider.
5 reasons why I’m getting the implant removed
1. Mood swings – I am not talking about the hormonal fuelled ones you had as a teenager or the really crazy ones you had while pregnant, these new mood swings fall somewhere in between. I can go from feeling fine one minute to being really grumpy the next for no reason whatsoever. I have a happy life, I don’t have to work, I get to spend all day with my son and I am married to a lovely husband – I have no good reason to be moody, yet most of the time I am. Damn you Nexplanon.
2. Irregular bleeding – This is the most common side effect of the implant and doctors do warm of it before you get it fitted. However, like with most things in life you think it won’t happen to you. After I had mine fitted I had a period that lasted pretty much a month. This was followed by almost 6 months of nothing, I was feeling pretty smug about this and thought I had managed to escape this most common side effect. Alas, soon after the 6 month mark I began having really annoying, irregular bleeding. On and off my period every week or so, always in the chemist buying more products and keeping a stash in my bag because who knew when it was going to start again. This is the main reason I am getting the implant taken out, periods suck and they suck even more when you have them all the friggin’ time.
3. Bad skin/hair – I am very lucky and have never suffered with spots or bad skin, ever. A matter of days after having my implant put in, my skin broke out in spots. Nothing terrible, it wasn’t like acne or anything, just a few pimples splattered on to my forehead. They were not really enough for anyone to notice but after happily living the past 23 years with spot free skin it really got me down. A year on they are not as bad but there’s still some there and they do make me really unhappy. Also, since my implant was put in my hair is now as dry as a bone. It has never been silky soft but now it is just like straw, hopefully whatever hormones have been messing with me will disappear with the implant.
4. Sex drive – What is this thing you speak of? I have a theory that Nexplanon is such a great contraceptive because it steals away all your interest in sex, saps you of energy and makes you desperate for sleep once your head hits the pillow rather than, you know, wanting that other thing couples do in the bedroom. Well, that’s my theory anyway…
5. Tired all the time – I am tired all the time. I know running around after a 2 year old isn’t easy and just going about day to day life is tiring but I can honestly say I am exhausted. I wake up in the morning barely able to open my eyes, dying for just another 10 minutes of sleep. By 6pm I am half asleep watching the Night Garden with Leo and on a good night I can make it to about 10 before I have to call it a day. I definitely feel this past year my energy levels are running on low and I am hoping that once I have seen the doctor I can start feeling more like myself and get a bit more spring back in my step.
Have you had the implant fitted, what has your experience been like? This post is here to inform, I know when I was researching contraception I really wanted to find an honest account of what each one was like. I don’t want to put anyone off, just sharing my experience.
* Update: After getting my implant removed, Oli and I decided we would in fact like to try for another baby. It took just 2 months for us to conceive so, just to warn you, your fertility comes back really quickly. If you aren’t planning to get pregnant, make sure you have another contraceptive in mind for when your implant has been removed*