I have had the Nexplanon implant now for coming up to a year. "What's Nexplanon?!" I hear you cry (probably not but, humour me). It's a long release contraception that is implanted into your arm and lasts for three years. Now, "implanted" sounds invasive - it's really not. The implant is injected into your upper arm near your arm pit. It's about 4cm long and only a few mil wide. I barely even felt it and I don't feel it now. It was a little tender for a couple of days straight after, but no more than any other injection site would be.
|Image credit - contraceptionclinic.co.uk|
Nexplanon lasts for three years and in this time, you might have no periods, normal periods or irregular periods. If you are in the irregular camp, you can also be prescribed oral contraception along with it, but this kind of defeated the point for me. I just wanted to forget all about my contraception and have something that had high levels of efficacy, so it didn't feel so regimented - "I must take this tablet so I can have sex and not have babies" is not really a very sexy way to start your morning. Plus, periods, ugh. I hate them. Mine weren't particularly bad, or long, just TEDIOUS and uncomfortable. So I tried Nexplanon and just hoped I would be in the No Periods camp.
I almost am. Over the past year I think I have had 5 "episodes" of some spotting only briefly for 2/3 days. And, without being graphic, it's not the red blood either, it's the usual "end of period" stage blood (y'all know what I'm talking about!). These have been tolerable though not generally at the most convenient of times, and have been unpredictable, starting whenever and without warning. But, minimal and tolerable.
Some people find they put on a lot of weight when changing contraception. I wish I had that excuse :) I really haven't noticed a difference that's been due to the implant. People also say they have had mood swings but again I have had nothing of the sort. It has really worked for me and bar those few slip ups, no periods either. And of course the most important part - NO BABIES!!
So if you are undecided about Nexplanon I would urge you to try it. It isn't as bad as anyone makes out (for me anyway) and if it is, it's very easily removed. And the bonus is, once removed you return to your natural fertility pretty much straight away - so don't feel out off by the three years. it can be taken out as and when needed, and you will be back to normal ovulation pretty fast if babies are your thing.
Overall I would give it 9/10. It did everything I wanted - got rid of the regimented tablet taking that I really had to work hard to remember to do. It pretty much got rid of periods, was easily "installed" and will be easily removed if needed, with no obvious side effects. And it has a high level of efficacy as there's no chance of taking a tablet at the wrong time. Definitely give it a go if you are thinking about changing contraception and please do ask me if you have any questions!