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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Question about the implant?

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Author Topic: Question about the implant?
xo_emilyrose
Neophyte
Member # 110072

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I'm getting the implant in a few days and I was wondering whether it hurts or not? If anybody who has/has had the implant could please explain the procedure and whether it hurts or not, that would be great! Also how was/is your experience with the implant? [Smile]
Posts: 3 | From: UK | Registered: Apr 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Hi emilyrose, welcome to the boards [Smile]

The doctor or nurse will use local anaesthetic on that part of your arm, so the insertion shouldn't hurt. You may or may not be able to feel it being inserted, but if you do feel anything, it should just be a slightly peculiar sensation rather than pain. That part of your arm might feel a bit delicate, bruised or sore for a day or so, but again, it shouldn't be anything major. Once the implant's been inserted, you shouldn't be able to feel it inside your arm at all - you can just feel the outline of it if you touch it with your other hand, for example.

Scarleteen's introductory info on the implant is here: the Contraceptive Implant (Implanon). Our information refers to Implanon; if you're in the UK, you'll very likely be getting Nexplanon. The only difference is that Nexplanon has an extra substance added so that it shows up on x-rays. The two are exactly the same in all other ways.

Here's Nexplanon's own website page describing the insertion procedure: http://www.nexplanon.co.uk/112/Insertion Of course, if you'd like to know more about the implant, you can have a look around that site [Smile]

Our volunteer Karyn wrote three blog posts about her decisions and experience with the implant:
http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/karyn/2009/04/22/implanon_part_1_that_piece_of_plastic_going_in_my_arm
http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/karyn/2009/05/07/implanon_part_2_in_which_there_is_a_very_large_needle
http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/karyn/2013/02/06/implanon_part_3_the_upgrade

If you have further questions, feel free to ask [Smile]

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OhImpecuniousOne
Activist
Member # 110155

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I'm a bit late here, so I hope you'll still see this and maybe find it useful. I've used the implant for about five and a half years - I'm glad I saw this thread, actually, since it prompted me to check my little alert card and realise that I need to get the implant replaced soonish. I'm in the UK, so I had Implanon for the first three years and now have Nexplanon - no difference that I could tell, except that the pharmacist fleeced me out of £12 the first time (If you're in the UK, contraception is free. I shall not forget that again.)

When I first went in to get the implant, since I hadn't been on hormonal birth control before, the doctor suggested I take the pill for a couple of months first to make sure that I wasn't going to react badly to it. I don't know if that's standard practise: if you get the implant and react badly, you can have it taken out immediately, but I think her thinking was that it would be simpler, cheaper and less hassle to find out through pills. Side effects from pills also stop very quickly once you stop taking the pills, while I believe that side effects from the implant can last a few months after removal. I was fine with the pills, apart from being far too scatty for them, so I went back to get the implant.

Redskies described the actual insertion pretty well. Local anasthetic; I didn't look because, well, I'd seen the size of the packet and I didn't want to acquaint myself with the size of the needle (I'm a wuss about needles). It felt slightly uncomfortable but not painful when it was actually being inserted, and I wore a dressing for a few days. Pretty uneventful.

In terms of actually "using" it, I love the implant to bits. I found it really, really weird at first that I could feel it under my skin - feels kind of like a pencil led floating in your arm. It's not at all uncomfortable or anything, but for a while I was compulsively poking myself in the arm just for the novelty of feeling something there that wasn't part of my body. Other people can feel it if they run a finger over the skin, but it's not visible. For me, it massively reduced my periods, from final-scene-of-Django to nice, managable, short, relatively painless. It also completely got rid of the depressive PMS I used to have, which is fantastic. I can't say the same will happen for you, of course - hormones effect everyone differently, as I'm sure you know, but for me the effects have all been positive.

When I went in to have the implant replaced after three years, I didn't have any of the problems that the author of the above articles did. I did have a different doctor from last time, who was a bit of an arse and clearly thought that replacing contraceptive implants was far beneath him and his surgical prowess. But despite his being a bit of a prat, it was very quick and simple - a tiny incision, old one out, new one in, bandage on and home. The whole thing probably took ten minutes. I have the teeniest, faintest scar imaginable, about one eighth the size of the scar from my TB shot, and that's it.

I know this is mostly just repeating what was said in the links above, but I know it can be comforting to hear the same thing from multiple people when you're trying to make a decision like this, so I hope what I've said helps you (or someone else who's considering getting an implant).

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Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Thanks for the extra input, OhImpecuniousOne (and I'm guessing That's why you have that username, because addressing you with it sounds hilarious [Razz] )! Just one point in what you said: there's no reason any side effects from the implant should last longer than any from the pill, because the extra hormone release stops as soon as the implant's removed. Possibly you were thinking of the injection, where the effects can hang around for some time.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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OhImpecuniousOne
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Member # 110155

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Thanks for the clarification, I wasn't sure which is why I tried not to present it as fact. [Smile] I picked the name because "impecunious" was the word of the day that I got in my inbox the day I registered, and it appeals to my sense of whimsy, as a broke postgraduate word nerd. [Wink]
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Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 79774

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No worries. I think part of our job here is to try to be the factual people when we can [Smile]

Word-nerdery! I like word-of-the day too.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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MaddleyLove
Activist
Member # 102003

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Hiya!! i know im a bit late on this one, but ive had the nexplanon for almost a year now, so i thought id pitch in [Smile]

the insertion was okay, not too painful...the local anaesthetic was the most painful part!! it felt like a bee sting, only a little bit worse [Razz] but after that i did not feel a thing [Smile] i bruised quite badly, but the nurse could tell that seconds after insertion!!

since then, i havent had any unmanageable side effects...bleeding randomly is the main one, but im happy to risk the irregularity for the high level of protection the implant offers, and when i mentioned it the nurses were happy to talk me through my options, eg taking it out or having the POP just to regulate my hormones [Smile]
also, i see youre in the UK? well i found lots of info on the nexplanon uk website, including a fascinating section for professionals, but which contains some videos from specialists in birth control who talk about the high effectiveness rates and raise some other interesting points for discussion which arent in the patient information section of the website [Smile] xx

Posts: 199 | From: Scotland | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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