Friday, 2 October 2015

All about the contraceptive implant (and about my experience)

Although I've dabbled in several different forms of the contraceptive pill, the one thing I have stuck with is the contraceptive implant. When I say stuck with, I literally mean stuck with. The contraceptive implant is a rod about the size of a bobby pin inserted into your inner arm that prevents the likelihood of falling pregnant. It may sound incredibly scary (and also quite like the start of a bad SciFi movie), but having the contraceptive implant isn't half as terrifying as it may sound.

I've had the implant sitting around in my arm doing it's thing for around two years now. Which means I've got a year left until I have to face the daunting reality of getting it removed , and if I still want it, replaced. It's been an odd journey but I can successfully say the contraceptive implant has worked out pretty well for me, or at the very least it has been better than other forms of contraception I have tried. That is not to say that it does not have it's downsides or even that it had a 100% success rate. In this article I'll take you through my experiences, up, downs, facts and figures of everything contraceptive implant.

The Facts

  • The contraceptive implant is over 99% effective
  • It lasts for three years
  • It doesn't contain any oestrogen
  • It can be removed at any time
  • I can effect periods in several ways, causing them to be shorter, lighter, longer, or stop all together.

What It Does

The implant stops you from ovulating, meaning that you do not produce an egg each month. It also thickens he mucus around the cervix making it harder for sperm to travel to the womb and makes the womb's winning thinner which, if an egg is fertilised, it will be harder for the body to carry.

In the next section I will talk about my personal pros and cons when it comes to the contraceptive implant. Please take into account that this applies to me and that all experiences will vary depending on the person. 

The Good

  • The contraceptive implant has been good and bad to me hormonal wise (I'll get to the bad later). On the upshot it hasn't dealt me the awful mood swings that other contraception can. Neither has it burdened me with the depression (or I guess in my case, light to medium sadness) that one form of the pill once did. 

  • It didn't make me fat, In fact I have experienced absolutely zero visible body changed since going on the implant, whoop! 

  • I don't have to remember to take the pill. I am extremely forgetful and clumsy. When I was on the pill I forgot to take it constantly and lost the packet more than a few times. I love that you don't have to think about contraception with the implant, but you still know that it's there.

The Bad

  • I'm going to start off with the worst, just to get it out of the way. It didn't, for me have a 100% success rate. As stated in the facts, the official success rate for the implant is over 99% effective, and I was just unfortunate enough to be in that 1%. Although I do preach the use of condoms, on this occasion I had unprotected sex and so that extra barrier of protection wasn't there (seriously, use condoms!) Don't however let this put you off, there isn't a form of contraception that exists that has a 100% success rate, it is just very, very important to practise safe sex alongside this. For clarification purposes, miscarriage. Alright enough of that, let's move on!

  • Before I talked about the implant having both good and bad effects on my hormones and mood. Rather than causing mood swings or depression I have found the implant has almost muted my emotions. When before I remember crying about really small things in the shower, for instance if I was a bit stressed or was running late, I no longer experience this. Neither do I particularly feel extreme bouts of happiness as I did before after. My feeling in sort are a lot more monotone, a bit like how people describe the effects of prozac. Which in some ways is good, I don't ever get too stressed or worried about anything, but in most ways I miss having high levels of feelings. Being super sad and crying, or being insanely stressed about deadlines or over the moon about upcoming events or personal achievements is part of being human. 

  • Although stated in point one that I no longer get periods. I did for the first moth have a constant ongoing period. every day. for a month. When I went back to my lovely lady doctor and told her the problem she gave me a type of contraceptive pill to take for three months that would balance out my hormones. The period stopped within a few days of taking the pill and have not returned since!

  • I have found at times (I guess referring back to point one) that I am now lazier with the use of condoms. I try and use them as much as I can but I have been one to occasionally say 'fuck it I'm on the implant' when there's none immediately available. 

  • I am no where near as worried about falling pregnant as I was before permanent contraception. I know I know, point one, I really should be, but then again.. point two. When before I worried a lot abut falling pregnant and being so embarrassed abut having to go and get the morning after pill (which by the way if there's no Waitress around - is bloody expensive!)

All in all I think that when the time comes to have the contraceptive implant taken out, I think I will give my body a rest for a while and not have it replaced or move immediately on to another form of permanent contraception.

So there we have it, all about the contraceptive implant and my personal experience with it. If you have had any experience with the contraceptive implant or any other forms of contraception then please leave a comment below! As part of my blog I aim to promote safe sex and all things sexual health, if you have tried another form of contraception and would like to write a guest post then please email me at - guest posts can be anonymous or not. You do not have to be a writer or blogger by trade to write a guest post for Not Just Sex!

Belle x

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