Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My new implant: Nexplanon - a review

A few months ago, ManFriend and I were talking about birth control and my occasional not taking it on time because of my active social life (I wish, it is just a few nights a month I get home really late or not at all).  He suggested something more reliable, like an iud.

I read about the iud and those strings freaked me out.  So did all the negative reviews, and they highly suggest one have had a baby - I don't have that.

Then I stumbled upon Implanon, an arm implant, but also there we so many negative reviews and crazy side effects.

I know I can't trust too many online reviews, granted most are written by normal people, but people tend to write reviews when they have problems.  So while there where thousands if negative reviews, there must be triple - quadruple the number of people who are happy with their birth control.

I had my semi annual pap smear scheduled and I happened to have the other doctor in the practice - amazing it took me 12 years to meet him!  So as he is peering into my vagina I asked him about the iud and Implanon.  Turns out this doctor trains other people how to insert Nexplanon, I wasn't familiar with this birth control, even with my 'extensive' research.  But it is the same concept as I told him I wanted it.

The doctor's office called my insurance and got the OK to purchase the device (this took like 2 weeks). Then I had to wait until the week of my period, since it needs to be implanted within 5 days of the start of your period. So I scheduled my appointment accordingly.

A week before my appointment, ManFriend tells me one of the biggest issues he has with unmarried couples is a child out of wedlock. Which would explain why he hasn't cum inside me yet; we never used a condom.  In this time, I am also very aware that I was having this device inserted just days before he was to move. Of course I started to wonder if he would ever reap the benefit of my new device.

At the doctor's office, they clean my left arm (since I am a righty).  Then he used a needle with some sort of numbing stuff;  this was the most uncomfortable part.  I was looking away, so I didn't see or feel anything, but like 30 seconds later he asked how I felt and I said "I don't feel anything, but I think you are done". And he was. He had me feel the rod in my arm.  So simple. So easy. So quick.  Why did I not hear of this before he told me? And why don't more people get this done? He put a band-aid on and gave me a card with my dates and a warning that only authorized people can remove it.

My arm was slightly sore, but really when I say slightly it was extremely minimal.  It took a few days but I developed a nice black and blue...and while this was minimally sore, it will go away soon and I don't have to worry for three years. So worth it.  (picture of 4 days after)

I just mentioned the Nexplanon will work for three years.  If I decide I want to attempt to get pregnant, they will remove the device and within days it is possible.  If not, then in three years they remove the device and implant a new one. I have the links to Implanon and Nexplanon above - if you want to read about it, I am not going to type all the side effects as part of this blog...except to note that most women who do not keep the Nexplanon in for the three years is because they don't like not getting a period - I have no problems with this...for the last 10 years or so, I've experienced no periods for months at a time, and I personally, love not getting one.

Even if the ManFriend does not get to benefit from my implant, more than a handful of times, I will. So while I originally did this for him, it will be nice not to have to worry about that little pill every night.

Update (5/17/13) - It actually took about 2 weeks adjusting to this while I slept.  I am such a bad sleeper as it is, so depending on how I was laying on my arm while I slept it, I could feel the pressure against the rod and it would wake me up in the middle of the night and I would readjust.  But by the third week, it didn't wake me up anymore.  Also, so far I haven't had any side effects, everything has been the same. 

Update (6/18/13) - The pressure when I sleep no longer bothers me.  I haven't had a period yet, which I am fine with, I am used to not having a period anyway, and actually quite prefer that.   The only thing, if you are super vain with your skin....this might be a problem.  That hole/scap you see above in the picture is still there, and it looks like it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.  Other than that it seems to be fine.  I feel it once in a while depending on what I am doing, but I overall, not an issue.  I have to say that I love not remembering to take the pill at the same time everyday.  It has been a fantastic new routine.

Update (4/2014) - Days away from having the implant for one year.  During this time I spotted just once.  At the beginning I had quite a bit of PMS minus the period, but that craving for sugar/chocolate, that I hadn't really felt before...but thankfully, that feeling subsided after a few months.  The scar on my arm is much lighter in color.  You can see the small circle, but it does bother me at all.  I still absolutely love having the implant instead of the birth control pills.


  1. Yeah, I pretty much fail at birth control pills. Luckily its never been a problem, but I really enjoy never having to think about it!!
    I was on Depo-Provara for years and it was so convenient!!

  2. I am getting this implant tomorrow morning. Reading your blog really eased my mind, and helped me forget all of the crazy reviews about side effects I read. I hope that I have a similar experience with this, and all goes well! Not excited about the mark on my arm, but could be worth it!

    1. Hi Lindsey. Thanks for your post! I am looking forward to hearing your experience and hope it was as good as mine.

  3. I had the IUD which was slightly painful to have it put it. I thought It wasn’t too bad until I went to get up and passed out. After the first two weeks I no longer noticed it- This was my life saver!! The doctor explained that my cycles would be heavier during the first few months then would lighten up. Heavy cycles vs. no BC (I always forget to take the pills) was something to trade for. However, a few months in my cycles were getting so bad I would wake up in the middle of the night and my bed looked like a murder scene. My "man friend" was also always complaining about it hurting him during sex. So I went back to have it removed. Now I am back at stage one, do I want to deal with 7-14 days of practically hemorrhaging or go with the Nexplanon?!?! I have done a lot of research and both really worry me. Oh why don’t guys deal with this crap!! I guess I will try the Nexplanon!

    1. If you get it, please come back and let us know what you think of it! Good luck.

  4. Hi,

    I've been researching different forms of birth control and stumbled across your post. After a few months have you had any negative side effects? Most of the reviews I've read about Nexplanon have been pretty negative. Many people complain of daily headaches and bleeding. I was just curious about your own experience.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. I was a huge headache sufferer in my 20s, so I know about headaches. But no, Nexplanon has not given me headaches or bleeding (although I rarely bled before I had it implanted). I also don't get cramps...but sometimes I get a little more emotional than I did before the Nexplanon...but I think that is 'normal' PMS because it only lasts a day or two. I LOVE it so far!

  5. I just got the implant removed after 1 nightmare year. I was always a very happy-go-lucky person but I started to get depressed for absolutely no reason. I put on 2st and that was with improving my diet and starting swimming for a hour 5/6 nights a week but the weight just kept climbing. My periods were completely unpredictable some lasted an hour some lasted days others lasted weeks. I used to get extremely bad periods when I was younger but they disappeared with the pill and then came right back with a vengeance on the implant. The removal is suppose to be a 5 min job. Mine took an hour and a half with two doctors and a nurse. I am badly bruised, very sore and have 4 stiches but am so glad to have the hell rod out of my arm