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*
Really interesting to hear your experiences. I am blessed because my husband had the snip
Agh – sounds horrendous. Thanks so much for sharing this. Have been considering it myself. Will definitely rethink it now! #abitofeverything
it sounds a bit like menopause (but at least you can reverse it!)
This reminds me of when I was on the pill. I hated it. I wasn't me. I had the coil fitted after having LP (my youngest) and will never turn back. Yes my periods are heavier, like super heavy, but I can put up with that. I only ever get mood swings when it's *that* time of the month. My sex drive is fairly normal, compared to before when it was non-existent.
I have the copper coil – no extra hormones. That's what works for me. I don't suffer with skin problems or anything like that and my periods arrive like clockwork. I would recommend it to anyone that asked.
Hope you're feeling better soon. x
I've never had the implant because I'm a wuss and the thought of having something like that in me made me a bit squeamish. Plus, I've never had a problem with the pill (I know a lot of women don't get on with the pill) until the doctor recently changed mine with no notice and now I'm getting some irregular bleeding (though, luckily not heavy – maybe 'spotting' is a better word). I hope you feel better all round once it's out!
Sounds Yuk. I have the copper coil with no hormones. It does make your periods REALLY heavy but I had just had enough of pumping my body full of fake hormones and i DO NOT want to get pregger again no way! why do you try that?x
It is so individual. I haven't ever had the rod but have friends that do. It works for them but I think with contraception you have try and find what works for you. Good luck with the next type! Mel xx #abitofeverything
Hi Wendy, I'm sorry that your implant hasn't worked out for you. After having my children I considered having an implant, but wanted to steer away from hormones.
After much thought (and cringing) I settled for the coil and haven't looked back. It's been wonderful. I won't lie for the first few weeks I did experience cramping that made me sweat, but once my body realized that the device wasn't going anywhere it settled down and now I don't feel it. I can recommend it and it's having it inserted is a little uncomfortable, but not what In would call painful.
Thanks for sharing the information. I have been considering my options and it's hard, as our bodies respond in different ways and tricky to know what works or what does not.
Lucky you! We want another baby one day so for the minute that is not an option. Maybe one day I will be able to convince him!xx
I thought about it for months before I got it, it is so hard to decide what method to go for. Everyone reacts differently though so you never know, you might be lucky xx
Ughh, soo not looking forward to that!!xx
Ohh I haven't heard of the copper coil, maybe I will have a look into that, thanks for the suggestion. It sounds better than the implant anyway. Ahh I hated the pill too, I wouldn't go back on it if someone paid me, it was awful xx
Thanks, I hope I start to feel better too. Yes I didn't get on with the pill but I know people who have taken it with no problems. That's a bit strange your doctor decided to change yours, hope things settle down for you soon xx
Another commenter mentioned the copper coil, maybe I will give that go. The thought of the coil really does freak me out though haha xx
Most people I know have hated it as well, I am not sure why I got it really!! Thank you, I am going to give myself some time to get back to normal before I start filling myself up with stupid hormones again xx
I am getting lots of recommendations for the coil. I am glad it is working well for you, I think I will give it a try as everyone seems to be saying positive things about it xx
I know, you don't know how your body is going to react until you start using something! All I know is I can't wait for Thursday when it is getting the hell out of my arm and tossed in to the bin!xx
Tell me about it. I was awful when I was on the pill. Glad to be rid of it now. 🙂 Good luck with it, hope you find some contraception that works for you. xx
It’s so funny how different things work for other people! I’m on my second implant and it’s been the best contraceptive for me, no periods, no pain, no depression. Makes such a change! Hope you find something that works for you! 🙂 x
Really nice read! I have had the implant in now 11 months and going to my local Family Planning Clinic today to hopefully have it removed. I know there are alot of scare stories of Doctors and Nurses refusing to take out the implant. I am concerned I will also be turned away. However, like you I am suffering from spots, although mine are now scarring my face and really upsetting me especially as I have alway shad wonderfully fresh clear skin. My sex drive too has depleted which affects the relationship between my husband and I especially with the foul moods the implant puts me on. Did you have any trouble getting yours out? Did the Doctor/Nurse try to persuade you other wise?
Really nice read! I have had the implant in now 11 months and going to my local Family Planning Clinic today to hopefully have it removed. I know there are alot of scare stories of Doctors and Nurses refusing to take out the implant. I am concerned I will also be turned away. However, like you I am suffering from spots, although mine are now scarring my face and really upsetting me especially as I have always had wonderfully fresh clear skin. My sex drive too has depleted which affects the relationship between my husband and I especially with the foul moods the implant puts me on. Did you have any trouble getting yours out? Did the Doctor/Nurse try to persuade you other wise?
I had no trouble at all. The nurse asked why I wanted it out and I listed all these symptoms and she just did it, no more questions asked. I hope you manage to get it out – just a note, I got pregnant within 2 months of having mine removed so I think your fertility kicks back in straight away! x
Im having mine removed for these exact reasons. Mainly the mood swings and the tiredness. I’ve had mine in a little over 2 years and was hoping the side effects would have died down by now but no. 3 months after having the implant I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and most days I can barely function in so tired. I’ve always been a moody cow and dare I say a little lazy but nothing like this. Thank you for this post, it’s made my decision so much easier.