(24hrs after having it put in, no bruise yet – I bruise late I think. Pen and bandage wrinkles on my skin from the doctor wrapping it, and paper stitches)
I’ve recently made the decision to get the contraceptive implant again, after having detoxed my body from the hormones for the past 5 months, and I was hoping to use my blog to explain my reasoning and check out other peoples opinions an experiences; so hopefully if you are stuck and thinking about contraception choices you will hopefully get a bit more from this post, and other posts around and about will give you more information than a 5 minute chat in your GPs office!
(No shade on the NHS: they are over worked and underpaid)
DISLCAIMER: If mentioning periods or sex organs grosses you out I wouldn’t keep reading.
I remember getting the contraceptive pill when I was 15ish, I was due to go on a school trip to Greece which I didn’t want my period for – but it happened anyway, the doctor invited me into his room and asked me a series of standard questions: if I was sexually active, if I had a history of depression, family history of blood clots, etc. He told me the side effects could be headaches, depression, weight gain, and a number of other things that I do not remember. I got the pill. My mum was eager to get me on it due to herself and my sister suffering with very bad cramps and the pill alleviating them, for the holiday, and maybe on some level was concerned about me having sex.
I was on microgynon – one of the most common contraceptive pills prescribed by doctors as it is cheap to manufacture and allegedly works for most people. I was in quite a poor mental state when I started taking the pill and I am still unsure if the pill made it worse for me or my mental health just deteriorated of its own accord.
When I was 18 I moved to a new city, and naturally changed doctors my, prescription was changed to Rigevidon; I dont know why, I think it was just the standard for my new location. My mental state improved but I am unsure if that’s due to starting a new life or if the change in contraception also helped.
When I was 19 I became sexually active and due to not caring prior to then if I took the pill regularly I decided it was a safer option to get the contraceptive implant, one of my friends had it and said it was good for her so I showed up at the sexual health clinic and got my implant put in that afternoon (after waiting 6 hours in the waiting room, book in advance guys). I hadn’t put much thought into it; like how they put it in or how they take it out so I would recommend research but both of my experiences the implanting and removal were all fine, albeit nerve wracking. For three years I used nexplanon with no problems. The first week of having it I had my period, which gave me cause for concern as I had read stories about girls having their period every day until they got their implant out. PANIC! But I was one of the lucky ones, I had next to no side effects, and after that initial period, which I was due anyway, my period did not bother me for the three years that I had the implant.
After three years of dating and not remembering a time I wasn’t pumped full of hormones I decided to detox and see what I was like without them, I didn’t notice much change apart from realising HOW INCONVENIENT PERIODS ARE! Oh my god they are sore, they ruin your pants, they make you moody, clumsy, AND THEY COST YOU MONEY – shout out to the tampon tax -_-
After 5ish months of dealing with this ive decided to get the contraceptive implant again, it is the right choice for me. Especially as someone who regularly donates blood, it means I don’t have to reschedule my donations with where I am in my cycle to avoid low haemoglobin.
This is what is right for me, my life style, my comfort and peace of mind. This is not the case with everyone. I am very lucky to react so well to contraceptives. A lot of people I know have suffered trying to find something that suits them.
Amanda felt the best contraception for her bodies chemistry was the implant, like I have currently, however she mentions how it was forever getting caught on things!! Something ive yet to experience (Thank goddddd)
My friend Fenella talks openly about her experience on a contraceptive pill called “Yasmin”, this contraceptive pill turned her life upside down, causing her anxiety disorder to worsen. She came off of the pill and it took three months to detox from the hormones and feel like herself again, finally. Since then she has never used another prescription contraceptive and is so happy with her decision!
Speaking with a few of my friends a lot of them have felt pressure to be on a contraceptive, societal pressures, and from doctors. Whilst it is amazing that my friends and I live in a country where contraceptives are so readily available, freely given and encouraged, the fact that a lot of men have become complacent when it comes to safe sex is ridiculous, I have found it is common for them to leave it down to the female partner to be on a contraceptive despite them having no benefits for stopping STIs.
When I got my implant removed the nurse seemed alarmed about the fact I was not getting a fresh one put in and did not have a live prescription for a pill, and when she asked what I planned to use – nothing – she seemed alarmed. Of course it is wonderful she wanted to ensure I was safe and informed, I felt very pressured to justify myself to her.
Grace has been on a the contraceptive pill since she was 14 and apart from migraines which caused her to change to a pill called “Cerelle” she has not had an issue apart from on occasion having irregular periods.
Pills are the most popular option for the people that I know, I’ve only known one person who opted for the coil and her review was harrowing, likening getting it put in and out similar to giving birth; and well that pretty much was enough information for me to know I would not be fucking with that nonsense anytime soon! Whilst talking to my doctor today when getting my smear and implant she was telling me how it was ideal for people who want their period stopped or flow decreased, which does sound appealing but I am one of the lucky ones whose period disappears just with the implant.
Heather however, LOVES the coil!! Whilst it isn’t what I am looking for, hearing Heathers review, and what my doctor said, it does make the whole choice sound a lot more appealing if you are someone who suffers during their period!
As someone with one entire sexual partner ever, I have understood that doubling up on contraception is never a bad idea as contraception is never ever 100% effective regardless of how you use it, however I never personally bothered. Bigcheeksmcgee talks about doubling up to curb the riotous symptoms!
Speaking to Sjanelle and she pointed out to me how Nexplanon – the implant I have, is not always safe for overweight women and can run out of chemicals prematurely and wind up pregnant! This is another way in which contraceptions need to be refined; similarly the issues with those nasty flat tummy teas causing girls to shit themselves skinny rendering the pill obsolete and winding up pregnant.
Sjanelle has found the mirena (the official name of the coil) suits her best, after being bounced from doctor to doctor due to side effects with her period, at age 10, which include fainting. She tried pills from age 13, and the implant at 17, but the mirena is what works for her!
After speaking to a bundle of women over the course of my life, and more so recent weeks leading up to the writing of this post I have realised that every different form of hormonal contraception has such a unpredictable reaction to the individual; there is no way to really predetermine which will be the most ideal for you, as they are prescribed solely on a trial and error format. I am not a doctor, nor have I really had any bad kind of reaction to any medicines but my limited knowledge is pretty sure that hormone based contraceptions are the only pharmaceuticals with this large variation of results. Whilst all medicines come with warnings and side effects listed in pamphlets, I have never heard anyone talk about how awful the side effects were, and if the side effects were as dramatic as they can be with hormonal contraception then there would not be a market for them.
I think we have all seen the articles talking about scientists developing a male contraceptive, because – y’know – why make the world waterproof when you can just turn off the tap, men can get an unlimited amount of women pregnant, but a woman can only get pregnant once every 9 months. During trials the side effects were deemed “inhumane” despite being the same side effects women commonly endure.
I am not saying the men should suffer depression or any of the other nasty things chemical contraceptions cause! I am saying nobody should have to endure these side effects, and if the side effects are the same for everyone why are the women the only ones with the option to do this.
With no knowledge as a scientist or a doctor I can only assume making pharmaceuticals is really tricky to say the least, but there needs to be updates made to make hormonal contraception safe to use.
In the same vein, the speculum was created in 1845 for conducting experiments on slave women and has never really been upgraded; although there are people working on a revamp! Finally! As someone diagnosed with vaginismus, speculums can make an already awful exam pretty traumatic.
The world of contraception and women’s health needs to be developed further to save us from having to endure these side effects and gain an effective option we can all use safely and responsibility.
Unfortunately nobody can tell you what will work for you, its trial and error, but coming from someone who has never used a condom – I have heard that if you know how to use them, its always a good idea! Especially because in the UK you can get free ones from your GP and lots of other places!
As long as sex is safe and consensual have a good time!
If you want to tell people your experiences with different types of contraception, feel free to share in the comments!