So to start at the beginning, what is Implanon? Implanon is a small rod that is inserted under the skin that releases a hormone called progesterone. It prevents pregnancy by keeping you from releasing an egg every month and also by making the normal mucus your cervix makes thick and sticky, making it hard for the sperm to find its way from the vagina through the cervix and up into the womb or uterus, or tubes where it usually meets the egg to fertilize it.
How effective is it? Well, good news here, it is VERY effective. It is basically as effective as having your tubes tied (surgically getting sterilized). That is because of the way that it works but ALSO because you don’t have to remember to use it every day.
As for the bleeding, you are right Bray, that a lot of women have problems with bleeding using Implanon. It actually is the most common reason women remove the rod and try another type of borth control. About 1/5 of women will stop having their periods within 3 months of having the rod inserted. Most of them (but not all!) will go on to have no problems with bleeding down the road. About half of the other people will have improved bleeding over time. Overall, within a year, about 1/3 will stop having periods altogether. Just so others know, not having periods on Implanon is not a problem – some women really like that, in fact.
Other side effects can be like you noted – nausea, lower sex drive, and headaches. All medications have side effects, and each person reacts differently to different medications. So, if you are having problems with your current birth control, by all means, go back to your Dr and switch it! That happens all the time, so don’t stress about that. Drs and NPs and nurses all want to work with you to match you up with the right method for you that agrees with your body!
If the bleeding is really a problem, then this won’t be the right birth control form for you. There are other methods that work without you having to remember it daily (like IUDs – let me know if you want to know more about that here on Real Talk).
To help get that started, I really like this tool from Planned Parenthood to help sort out what might be the best type of birth control for you: Planned Parenthood My Birth Control
And no matter what you use, remember to use a condom as well to help prevent sexual infections. More about condoms HERE
Thanks again, Bray, for taking the time to point out my error!
As always, comments, questions, others welcome! C'mon, join the discussion below!