In my twenty-eight years of life, I have never used birth control. The main reason for that being my mother. She always advised me against it and so I listened. However, after Liam was born, I knew that I would look into the different options available to me. I was very specific in regards to the type of method I wanted to go with.
I knew that the pill would not work for me. I do not have the type of discipline necessary to take a pill every day. I’ve tried to take multivitamins and even that is a struggle for me. The IUD did not sound pleasant to me so that one was a big no. The rest of the methods just seemed outdated to me so I went with Nexplanon, the arm implant.
Now, I will admit, I did not do much research. I made my decision based on the recommendation of my ob/gyn and the women in my life.
Of course, Nexplanon did sound like my best option. An implant on my arm for three years? Sounds great! But I do wish I would have done more research, and that is why I am writing this. So that any and all the momma’s that are researching can have an open and honest opinion on what this little stick can do to a woman’s body.
Before I begin my review, let me tell you my stats. I got the implant six weeks after Liam was born. I have had it for five months now. Ever since I got it, I have not had a menstrual cycle and that does make me feel a bit uncomfortable. It feels very unnatural to me, but it is a possible side effect, as with any other birth control.
The procedure was very pleasant and painless. I say pleasant because I actually got the chance to spend a few minutes with my OB and ask him some questions in regards to VBACs. Side Note: he is highly against them. There was ZERO pain involved and the prepping took longer than the insertion itself. There was some bleeding, but by the time I got home, it had stopped. The healing process was a bit concerning for me because I had a very big and purple bruise. My OB had warned me that there would be some bruising, but it was way more than “some”. I also felt stabbing pains every time I moved my arm. This lasted about three weeks. I no longer feel any discomfort.
Aside from the loss of my menstrual cycle, I have had A LOT of emotional side effects. Till recently, I was an emotional wreck. I was breaking my head trying to figure out what was going on with me. I started leaning towards postpartum depression, but things were not adding up. My main symptom was looking more like mood swings than depression, but they were bad. These mood swings were REALLY bad. I won’t get into the gritty nitty details, but do not take my words lightly. I had never, in my life, experienced these types of mood swings. The only witness was my husband and thank goodness for his patience and understanding ways.
Another expected side effect was weight gain. I gained SO MUCH weight and I am just now starting to lose it.
I was told that it would take some time for my hormones to stabilize postpartum. Add to that the birth control hormones that have never entered my body before and you have a nasty hormonal cocktail.
I also experienced nausea and breast pain. The best way I can describe it is like having period symptoms without my period.
So for the past month, I have been thinking really hard about removing it. I even did the research I so wish I would have done before and I found that there are even more risks like blood clots, ovarian cysts, and injuries to the nerves or blood vessels in your arm, among other things. I, however, decided to keep the implant in place. Now that my body has gotten some time to adjust to the change in hormones, I am no longer experiencing the symptoms with the intensity from before. My husband and I also do not plan to have another baby anytime soon.
Looking at the big picture, Nexplanon, with all its side effects and risks, is still the best option for me. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone. But of course, check with your physician and compare the pros and cons. I wish you the best and hope this review was of value.