My Implanon Experience
Jordy shares her experience with Implanon...
My journey with contraception has been an interesting one. I’ve been on pretty much every pill you can think of and have had to change each time for one reason or another…
I had to come off combination pills (estrogen & progesterone) as I suffer migraines and there’s all sorts of risks associated with that, blood clots, strokes etc…
I then moved on to the mini pill, which contains progesterone only. I’ve tried many of these which seem to work for a few months but then I’m struck with excessive, heavy periods that are extremely painful.
A recent chat with my Doctor resulted in me deciding to try a new contraceptive method, the Implanon.
She managed to have me 99% on board with the idea during our consult, but I still wanted to do some research of my own.
While I found lots of information on medical sites, I struggled to find personal experiences on the web. You know, real stories of real women’s experience. So I decided to document my experience for you all! Please bear in mind that this is just MY experience and everyone’s will be different. I am also in no way claiming to be the Yoda of all things Implanon, I just thought it would be good to share this with you ladies!
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What is it?
Excerpt taken from nps.org.au…
“Implanon is a contraceptive implant preloaded in a disposable applicator…A small amount of the hormone etonogestrel (substance that resembles progesteron) is continuously released into the bloodstream for three years”.
So basically, it stops you from ovulating each month!
What’s the cost?
In Australia, it’s $37.80 or $5.30 on concession to purchase the Implanon and the applicator from the Chemist. You do have to get a prescription for this from your Doctor, so don’t just rock up and ask for one.
If inserted at a Family Planning Clinic, you get most back on Medicare. I chose to get mine done with my GP which is more expensive but it’s whatever you’re comfortable with. I’d just suggest to go with someone who does the procedure often!
What’s the procedure like?
The doctor injected some local anesthetic to numb the area which was FRIGGIN’ painful I have to admit.
I was looking away because I’m squeamish so I can’t tell you exactly what happened, all I can say was that I felt NOTHING. Literally NOTHING after the anesthetic. I was expecting a longer procedure and to feel some discomfort so when the Doc said I was done I was shocked!
**Side note: you do have to pee in a cup to check for pregnancy and sign a few forms before the procedure**
What are the side effects?
Bleeding that is heavy, excessive and doesn’t subside
Changes in mood (short temper, cranky etc.)
My Doctor also said that there is no solid evidence that Implanon causes weight gain! Most girls opt for this form of contraception in their 20’s which is when we start to gain weight anyway, so that’s something to be mindful of.
I got the Implanon inserted this morning and was able to get back to my usual busy life straight away. Driving wasn’t a problem at all and there’s been not much pain at all.
Around 6pm I had a shower and noticed a fair bit of bruising and blood under my band-aid.
I did get a bit of a shock but trust me, it looks WAY worse than it feels!
Bruising has settled down but is still very visible. Lucky it’s Winter in Melbourne because I definitely wouldn’t want to be showing this arm off! Pain is bearable and only hurts when I poke or prod! No mood changes or bleeding, however the Doctor did say it will take a full week to feel side effects. So far, so good!
Please excuse the gross remnants of the band aid, still too tender to give it a good scrub!
Still no side effects – YAY!
My skin has had a slight reaction to the band aid (I have super sensitive skin) and there is still slight bruising but apart from that, NOTHING!
1 Month on…
My skin has broken out a bit…around my mouth and chin, which is the area that breaks out when it’s hormonal. I’ve become stricter on my skin regime and upped my water intake so hoping that helps. My headaches have become more frequent too. I’ve also had some slight spotting, but nothing too major.
None of this compares though to the MASSIVE sugar cravings I’m having! I never usually have a sweet tooth but have found myself craving chocolate, ice cream, anything with a shit load of sugar, I’m up for it.
Has anyone else experienced this too?!
Hoping this all subsides when my body fully adjusts to the Implanon!
3 months on…
I’ve still had some irregular bleeding but NO PAIN! My sugar cravings have mostly subsided but I have noticed that I have a bigger appetite now. Not a huge problem, I just have to mindful of not over eating and having eyes bigger than my stomach.
My headaches are still quite frequent and I’ve noticed a slight increase in my migraines.
With the help of a stricter skin regime, my face has mostly cleared up and I only have a few pimples now that aren’t as red and angry. I’ve always suffered with perioral acne so this isn’t that bad for me!
I do have a tiny scar from where the Implanon was inserted but I’m not that fussed about it! I’m just putting some Bio-Oil on there daily to try and minimise its appearance.
7 months on…
Irregular and painful bleeding continues! I bled consistently for around a month which has cleared up but I do worry now with how unpredictable my cycle seems to be now. Sugar cravings are still present and I’ve definitely gained weight! I haven’t fallen pregnant though so it’s obviously an effective form of contraception!
Removing the Implanon
After persisting with the Implanon for 8 months, I’d finally had enough. Skin breakouts around my chin (pimples in this area indicate hormonal issues), headaches, irregular painful bleeding, mood changes..the list goes on. I made the snap decision one morning to get it removed and by midday I was in the Doctors office ready for the procedure. Much like the insertion of the Implanon, the only painful part of the removal was the anesthetic needle injected to numb the area. After that, I felt nothing. It took about 15 minutes for the Doctor to remove the Implanon. I was quickly bandaged up and good to go. I was sore after the anesthetic wore off but the pain was manageable with Panadol.
6 days after removal and here’s what the wound looks like…
So there’s some slight bruising and a small scab where the incision was made.
Now it’s operation: “Get Hormones balanced!” I’m having a complete break from any form of hormonal contraception and am letting my body do it’s thing for the first time in many years. I’m really looking forward to getting more in tune with my cycle and learning more about my body.