Contraception: The Implant Update

When I first wrote my post about contraception, I had hoped that it would be popular, but I would never have guessed that it would be my most popular post to date.

It fostered such healthy conversation and sharing over Twitter and in my comments section, and it was wonderful to see so many of you discussing your experiences and talking about how contraception has affected you over the years. The post was also beautifully timed as the blogosphere soon exploded with all manner of contraception related discussions, from hashtags to further blog posts and YouTube videos. 
There’s no doubt about it – it’s shit that we don’t have enough tangible information about the different forms of contraception available to us. It’s shit that sometimes contraception is impossible to get a hold of (fancy a months wait for a doctor’s appointment, anyone?), and it’s shit that once we get a hold of it, it’s an absolute gamble as to how it’s going to affect our bodies. What is not shit, however, is the fact that we as a community are now coming together to share our real life experiences rather than resorting to trawling unhelpful NHS pages.

In my original contraception post, I spoke about my awful experience with the injection and about my latest addition, the contraceptive implant. I thought it might be helpful to update you guys as to how I’m getting on and how the implant has affected me, especially for anybody that is considering choosing this option. The easiest way to do so? A pros and cons list, of course.

PROS

  • No weight gain – After getting the contraceptive injection, I put on 6 or 7 pounds in three months. My clinic doctor warned me that this might be the case, but I was shocked as to how quickly this happened. I’ve not experienced any weight gain with the implant and my weight has plateued, but it hasn’t made it any easier to lose weight. Still, I’m grateful that things are stable and I can now start a bloody starvation diet to shed these extra lbs *sob*.
  • No mood swings – I haven’t experienced any extreme mood swings with the implant, and I’ve definitely found myself less likely to burst into tears or lose my temper. 
  • Good skin – My skin is actually pretty good at the moment, minus the odd blackhead and of course, my typical redness. With the injection I definitely got a random wave of acne, so this is a definite plus for me.
  • Easiest thing on god’s green earth – The implant is such an easy and maintenance free form of contraception. I literally made an appointment at my clinic and had it popped in there and then. After that you just have to make sure you keep the area clean with a little plaster for the following few days, and then you’re done. FOR THREE YEARS. No reminders every morning to take your pill, no booking an appointment every three months for the injection – you’re just done. This is undoubtedly one of my favourite things about the implant as it easily fits in to your daily life and doesn’t become a chore. 
CONS
  • Erratic periods – Honestly, I never know whether I’m coming or going at the moment with periods. They are totally erratic, liable to come at any time and I definitely experience spotting. Most of the time I’m experiencing tiny bits of like, old blood, if that makes sense. You know when you’re at the end of your period and the blood is just dark and kind of not really there? Yep, that, just most days instead of two days out of the month. 
  • Discharge – A totally random side effect I wasn’t expecting, I’m now dealing with pretty much daily discharge which is so annoying. Sometimes I have to change my underwear during the day because it’s almost like I’ve done a tiny pee (I havent, FYI, done a tiny pee). I’ve been wearing a panty liner recently to try and combat this, but I’m going to check in with my doctor soon to see if anything can be done about it because it’s really starting to grind my gears. Definitely not sexy to have to say ‘let me just pop to the loo’ before any kind of sexual contact.
  • Scar – My doctor struggled to get the implant in my arm so I think she damaged some of the tissue, meaning I’m left with a bumpy scar that almost looks like a whitehead. It doesn’t hurt and my implant has been totally fine, it’s just a bit ugly and annoying that it won’t go away.
  • Cystitis – I suffer from cystitis all the damn time so this could be unrelated, but I’ve noticed that with the erratic bleeding and extra discharge, I’ve been way more prone to cystitis. Like I said I routinely suffer with cystitis, so if you’d like a post about my experiences and how I try to treat and prevent it, then do let me know!

Also, if you’re wondering, this beautiful kimono robe is from Bluebella. They wanted me to show that nightwear can be versatile, so beyond wearing one of their pyjama shirt as part of my daywear, I also threw this robe on as a beachwear cover up. We took these shots whilst in Budapest and I had taken my bikini with me to wear to the baths, but we never ended up going so we had to photograph this in the hotel room *very beachy*.

I hope this contraception update has been helpful – and if not helpful, at least intersting – for you, and please please please feel free to share with me your contraception experiences, either in the comments down below or on Twitter and Instagram. I look forward to hearing from you sassy gals.

  • Really enjoyed this post! I think it's great you're starting and maintaining a conversation about contraception! Incidentally I just got myself back on to the pill today to help with heavy periods – but yeah there's definitely not enough woman-to-woman information about it out there so good on you! And thanks for this post; if I ever think about the implant I'll come back here first!
    Rebecca | Notes From September
    Xx

  • Thank you so much for sharing chlo! I'm on the implant myself and find it the best contraception. I went to an all girls catholic secondary school and they never even taught us about contraception, their tip was to pull out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, I find that I still get mood swings and all the horrible discharge and stuff.. And I think I may have a yeast infection which may be due to the implant. The horrible scar happens to all of us! It's like a little spot on your arm that never goes away (sob). It's always nice to see that others feel the same about you with the implant xxx

  • love the kimono you are wearing and I am glad that you are updating us xo!
    NEW POST
    http://www.fashionnfreedom.blogspot.com

  • This is honestly so interesting for me to read. I've just had my implant taken out because I was having constant headaches & bleeding. Hearing someone else's real experience (not off a dodgy forum) is so interesting to me. I made my boyfriend read it too, he's really interested in how it reacts with others. I've switched to the coil now because it has no hormones! Thanks so much for sharing this & being so real about it!

    Katie // Words By Katie

  • Chloe you should definitely think about the hormonal coil after your time with the implant is up! I don't have any periods at all, and (for me anyway) no discharge concerns. I also haven't experienced any weight gain or mood swings that I'm aware of. It lasts FIVE years as well. And you forget it even exists because it's er right on up in there 🙂 xxx

  • I am so glad you posted a follow-up on this. I have had the implant for 4+ years (currently 1.5 years through my second implant). It is the only contraceptive I have ever used and I can't imagine using anything else. I am SO SO SO thankful that you mentioned your discharge, because I have had the same issue during the 4+ years I've had my implants! I had never even considered that the implant could be the cause of it. I have been to the doctor twice regarding my discharge (which, like yours, occurs everyday) and had tests done to be sure that everything was normal, which it is. Now I finally have an answer as to why I have discharge, thanks to you! The time it started was not long after I had the first implant inserted, it makes so much sense now and I can't believe I hadn't thought of it.

    I believe conversations like these are so important to have; sharing information is vital. Keep up the outstanding work you do with your blog. xx

  • Great post! I am on my second implant and have pretty much the exact pros and cons list, I also suffer from UTI quite regularly but never pinned it down to maybe being a side effect of the implant. I also get headaches often but I couldn't tell you if it is a side effect too. Contraception is such a healthy topic to talk about! Thank you Chloe!


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