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Blue Ginger 12-10-2018 05:46 AM

Anyone had the Implanon implant? (Possibly TMI)
Just wondering if any of the lovely ladies on here have used the Implanon (or similar implants) for birth/period control?

My Doctor has recommended it because all the pills that I have tried have given me various degrees of morning sickness. She thinks that is being caused by the combo of hormones while this option only has progestogen. And this may help lighten or, fingers crossed, make my period go away.

Everyone reacts differently to hormones, so I'm just looking at the best/worst case scenarios and side effects. So far the best case totally outweighs the worst case for me.

My questions are: Has anyone had issues around the insertion site? How long did it take to heal? Did it scar or leave a mark? Can anyone tell it is there without it being pointed out? Do you feel it there when you are doing normal activities or not notice anything unless feeling for it?

I'm super pasty white, so a small scar won't worry me, but I'd be upset if it dimples or there is a clear outline/shadow of it through the skin. (Scars are normally slightly lighter than normal skin colour. My normal is so light that 'slightly lighter' is like putting 2 pieces of white paper next to each other. I have to really, really, really look to spot my burn scar on my wrist and it's about the size of a fat pen end or a cigarette end. Campfires + fire crackers = exploding coals + flaming embers = owies.)

Anyone have issues with it being removed? Did it scar or leave a mark? How do they remove it?

Any other positive/negative things that you discovered that you weren't really told about?

greek_jester 12-10-2018 07:35 AM

If you're looking for an oestrogen-free version of the pill, has your doctor tried desogestrel (generic name, various brands include Cerelle, Ceratzette, etc.)? I've been on that for years, and there's no week of sugar pills so I haven't had a period since 2004. It's also a lot more forgiving than other progestogen pills as there is a 12 hour window where it needs to be taken, rather than a 3 hour window.

I have no idea about implants, I'm afraid; I've heard a few too many horror stories about infections from people who had them, so I've avoided them.

Blue Ginger 12-10-2018 11:06 AM

Part of my issues are swallowing pills and remembering to take them every day. And the cost. If I was still living in the UK it wouldn't be an issue, but some of the oestrogen-free pills are $30-$60 per pack in Oz.

I can get the Implanon for $8 and inserted for $50 upfront (with a medicare claim back of $35ish). Yay for currently having a healthcare concession card.

I was originally looking at Mirena, but due to other issues I would need to be fully knocked out for insertion. That would mean going on a waiting list that could take up to 6 months to get to the head of. And cost me $200 to $300 after concession discount. If I was able to get it done in the doctor's office like a normal person, it would cost about the same as the Implanon.

Blue Ginger 01-16-2019 05:03 AM

So I bit the bullet and got the Implanon implant last week Monday. OMG I loved the local, didn't feel a thing even when the doctor needed to use extra pressure. Stupid arm kept twitching. And they used numbing spray so I didn't even feel the needle for the local. I love my doctor.

What we weren't expecting was the epic bruise. Normally it is just around the immediate insertion site and along the implant (about 10cm long and 5cm wide). Mine was about 15cm long and 10cm wide at the biggest and all the colours. It's still there but it's mostly that yellow/green colour. Should take another 4-5 days to fully fade.

It needed to have a pressure bandage for the first 3 days, but it could come off to shower. The worst part was getting the actual bandage off that went over the insert site and length of the implant. It was supposed to come off after 2 showers. After the 3rd, I ended up pulling it off carefully myself. It felt like it was superglued on.

I'm still wearing a bandage over it when I go anywhere, but that is only because I get less funny looks with a bandage than with the massive bruise. It is wrapped loose, not compressed anymore. Once the bruise fades, it will be all good.

Ghel 01-16-2019 01:55 PM

I'm on my second round of Nexplanon. I think it's very similar to Implanon - small tube inserted under the skin on the inside of the arm. Lasts 3 years, then it needs to be removed and replaced.

I also had an epic bruise both times. The insertion site was covered with tape and a pressure bandage that I was supposed to keep on for 24 hours. But with the shape of my arm, I guess, it kept rolling out of place. I think I managed to keep it on 18 hours and suffered no ill effects for not keeping it on longer. The tape under the wrap I was told to keep on until it fell off, which I still find rather funny. The tape would get loose on the edges and stick to my sleeve, so I cut off the ends as they came loose. That lasted about 5 days both times.

The first time, I didn't have a scar or mark that I noticed, but this time I have about a 1/4" scar at the insertion site. I think it's partially because the nurse practitioner had to do a lot of cutting to get the old one out. But she warned me about that before she removed it, that sometimes the body builds a "capsule" around the implant. She said it doesn't interfere with the implant releasing hormones, but it can make removal difficult. Then she inserted the new one right where the old one was, bandaged me up, and it was over. With the lidocaine, I didn't feel a thing.

After I got the first implant, I noticed some slight mood changes. Mostly I was more weepy. But I was also going through a divorce, so it's hard to tell if it was the implant's fault. I figured crying a bit more than before was a fine trade-off for not having to worry about getting pregnant.

Oh, and of course the best side-effect was that I haven't had my period since. :D My nurse practitioner said I can stay on the Nexplanon until I go through menopause, if I want. And I want!

LadyofArc 01-29-2019 01:43 AM


Quoth Blue Ginger (Post 1374584)
Anyone have issues with it being removed? Did it scar or leave a mark? How do they remove it?

Any other positive/negative things that you discovered that you weren't really told about?

I know I'm late to the party, but I had the implanon for around 6 years and the things I can recall from it were:

Removal: I do have a few small scars from the insertion and removal, but they're not very apparent unless you look up close (basically the scars are no larger than rice grains). The first time I got it removed was in my GP's office (to have a new one put in), the second time was in an operating theatre (while I was having a copper IUD put in*) and both times left a very faint mark. Basically it's a small incision and it gets pulled out while under local.

Positive things: My periods did get lighter while on it and I did like the fact that I didn't have to worry about whether or not I'd taken the pill or whether the effectiveness would change due to being sick.

Negative things: My mood kind of went all over the place (that is a side effect they do warn you about), so I'd keep a close eye on it and mention it to any psychologists or psychiatrists you see.

The only other issue I had with it was the development of ovarian cysts. That was something that did pop up in the leaflet they give you when you get the script filled, but it did result in a few freakouts over whether it was that or appendicitis.

And as some people have mentioned previously, just be aware of it in your arm as it may affect the ability to do some things where there's a lot of pressure on that site.

Blue Ginger 01-30-2019 04:27 AM

My epic bruise has finally faded. There is just a small scab/scar at the insertion site, but that is still healing. I sometimes heal super fast and sometimes it takes 3 months for something small to fully heal, so I'm not too worried about that yet.

Mood swings were really bad on the various pills I've tried before. Between that and the constant morning sickness, I had given up for quite a while. So far with this I've had no morning sickness or mood issues. YaY!

Mum was a bit annoyed/freaked out/disappointed that I went ahead with it. She started with the 'what if you decide you want kids but this has changed your body so you can't' bullshit. I told her that I'm 3-fucking-4 and I've never wanted kids and that is not going to change. I would be happy to have the whole system ripped out. (Some days I'd do it with a rusty spoon just to ease the pain.) If I had to eat brussel sprouts everyday for the next 10 years to never get my period again, I would do it in a heartbeat. She stopped the nonsense after that. I detest sprouts and she knows it.

Her periods were never as bad as mine and she trotted out the old 'women were made to suffer' crap from her catholic upbringing. I was brought up catholic too, but I see that as a giant crock of bullshit designed to dismiss and control women. :soapbox: (I am an atheist now, too.) Her's were also like clockwork, shorter and all round easier to deal with. Mine have caused me to miss work, parties, concerts, events. Made me have to choose between being drugged up and out of it or in intense pain.

The massive doses of painkillers each month also increases the risk to my already at risk kidneys. Near constant kidney infections as a child have compromised them. They work fine, but I need to be very aware of things like alcohol and medications that could cause damage. And funnily enough, my kidneys have a 95% chance of failing if I do get pregnant. :rolleyes: Which mum knows.

Dad was actually more supportive. His response was pretty much 'if it's safe and makes you happy, I'm happy.' He was a bit concerned when he saw the massive bruise and then when I made it wiggle under the skin, he was grossed out. It was pretty funny seeing his expression. :lol:

With regards to the ovarian cysts risk: the women on mum's side all hit menopause early in life, usually around their mid to late 30's. We don't have any medical history on dad's side because Nana didn't know. (She escaped from Germany during WWII and didn't even know if any of her family survived until the mid 1980's.) So I figure I will only need one replacement at the most. If I do have any side effects like that, I will be pushing really fucking hard to have everything removed.

Ghel 01-30-2019 01:28 PM

WRT the risks: the biggest risk I was warned of with the Nexplanon implant is that if, in the unlikely event I do become pregnant, it's much more likely to be an ectopic pregnancy. So if I suddenly get severe abdominal pain, I need to head to the emergency room right away. :eek:

I hope the implant helps diminish your menstrual difficulties, Blue Ginger. That sucks. :(

Blue Ginger 01-31-2019 12:54 AM

Thanks for the warning Ghel, but that really won't be an issue for me. I've tried to have sex with a guy 6 times since I turned 20. Every time has been so painfully that it doesn't get very far. If I ever actually end up pregnant, I'll be looking for a big flaming ball in the east and may start my own religion. And the parasite will be sucked out faster than you can say 'miracle'.

Valentinian 01-31-2019 02:57 AM

I had an Implanon ages ago! I'd been having issues with the pill - I'd be fine on one type for 6-9 months, and then I'd start getting slightly depressed and general malaise. I kept having to stop for a couple of months in order to 'reset' my response to them, or change to a different brand. Not fun. So I got an Implanon and didn't have any periods for... IIRC two years, it was awesome.

After that I started getting really light spotting all the time, just enough to be annoying, so my GP took it out (it had formed a capsule and left a tiny white scar, I don't care) and I switched to Depo-Ralovera. That one's an injection in your butt once every three months and I went back to no periods again (yaaaay~!). I never noticed any side effects from that one, but it can cause lowered bone density so I needed to get that checked once in a while. (Found out I actually have denser bones than expected, so that's something that works right in my dumpster fire of a body!) I'm actually planning to go back on that one if I can.

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