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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Emergencies and Crises » Spotting on nexplanon (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Spotting on nexplanon
clairbaire123
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I know "irregular bleeding" is very common on the implant although my question is, does spotting with clots & pieces of tissue fall under that? I thought that the pieces of tissue is part of the uterine lining shedding and only happens during a period. Im asking because two weeks after my actual period, this spotting with clots and pieces of tissue started, is that normal? Does that fall under the irregular bleeding which is a side effect of the nexplanon? My midwife said to call in if I have huge clots the size of a golfball, I dont know if she meant clots of blood or clots with tissue and unfortunately just thought of this question now [Frown] I only asked them about spotting and not spotting that includes tissue.
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Patricia H
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Hey there, clairblaire123,

I don't know much about nexplanon, but I hope I can provide some help for the moment until a more knowledgeable moderator can come in and provide you with more specific information.

Based on what your midwife has told you, she sounds like she's talking about both types of clots--or just any clotting in general--and to simply keep a note of the general size of them, i.e. if they start getting pretty big (golfball sized) and you're experiencing immense pain, call her.

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Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

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clairbaire123
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Does spotting have small bits of tissue? or is that only for a period?
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Patricia H
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While spotting can have bits of tissue, it usually doesn't; rather, it would normally consist more of just the passage of small amounts of blood from the vagina. Spotting can happen for almost any reason, including birth control effects, so it's not necessarily confined to "only for a period."

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Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

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clairbaire123
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Im not sure if the clots that Im passing contain tissue or its just blood that stuck together and Im slightly worried if they do contain tissue and they're not supposed to.
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Patricia H
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I wouldn't be too worried about the details, clairbaire123, especially if your midwife said nothing about telling you to make sure your clots contain tissue and/or blood, or one of the other and not the other. If it's size that she told you to keep an eye out on, I'd stick to that. Otherwise, it will be really easy to drive yourself crazy over details that end up not being all that important, you know?

And as always, if you really are concerned still, maybe you should talk this out with your midwife, as she would know better than I what to expect and what to look for.

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Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

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clairbaire123
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Ok! thank you, now that I think about it, I don't recall ever seeing actual tissue, just maybe dried bits of blood (that may or may not have been actual tissue) when I wipe and globs of blood when I would urinate, no where near the size of a golfball though. I just wanted to see if this was a reason to be concerned. She said spotting and irregular bleeding is the most common side effect, and thats it, she didnt go into detail.
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Karybu
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There's really no more detail to go into: unless you're having severe pain or very heavy bleeding, then there's nothing to be worried about. Nothing you're describing sounds like cause for concern - it sounds like pretty typical lighter, irregular bleeding that happens with the implant for many people.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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clairbaire123
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if there were bits of uterine lining/actual tissue, does that still fall under whats considered "normal" for an irregular bleed? I was always under the impression that uterine lining only appears during a period which is why Im just asking! Since this kinda happened 1-2 weeks after my actual period.

and its actually lightening up, almost nothing now. slight spotting leading into three-four days of more heavy bleeding then tapering to slight spotting again, over the course of a bit more than a week.

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Karybu
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It is possible for some of the uterine lining to be part of the bleeding that happens for people using the implant, yes. Again, it does not sound like you have any cause for concern here.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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clairbaire123
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from what my doctor said, I kind of understood it that my periods may go away completely and these irregular bleeds can happen from time to time. Those are common for the implant? there is no way to determine what is or isn't a period I'm assuming!
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Karybu
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Irregular bleeding is one of the most common side effects of the implant. You're not ever going to have true periods on the implant, because you're not ovulating: a real period is the shedding of the lining of the uterus that happens after an egg fails to implant.

What you might have from time to time is bleeding that is very similar to a period, but it won't likely be easy to predict. Or you might stop bleeding altogether, but it's too early to know yet exactly what sort of effects the implant will have on your body over time.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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clairbaire123
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Oh wow I didn't know that! The period that I had on the 9th, the first one on the implant and last one I had on the pill (I took them at the same time for one cycle) was so much like a period, lots of uterine lining. My doctor said light spotting might happen but then I got a full blown bleed, like the bleeds id have on the pill.

Thank you for the information!! So pretty much anything goes? When I should be concerned is when there's severe pain or heavy bleeding like you said but aside from that, things can get pretty wonky on the implant?

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Karybu
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That's exactly right. [Smile]

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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clairbaire123
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When you say irregular bleeding that is similar to a period, can there be cramps and moodiness and what not that occurs too, menstrual symptoms? Kinda like a withdrawal bleed on the pill?
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Molias
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Yep!
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clairbaire123
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So the irregular bleeding is almost exactly like a period, there can be cramps, moodiness, sore breasts and fatigue, all the usual menstrual symptoms present?

Sorry I realized the "what not" could have been a bit vague.

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clairbaire123
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I think my question is worded weird [Frown]

Can the irregular bleeding on the nexplanon also have menstrual symptoms, like cramping, moodiness & fatigue?

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Robin Lee
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The same hormonal fluctuations that can lead to the bleeding can also lead to other physical experiences. So, having cramping, moodiness, etc wouldn't be uunusual, particularly if one is experiencing bleeding. put another way: Hormonal birth control of any kind affects hormones, so things that people experience when their hormones fluctuate are not anything to worry about.

It sounds to be like you find physical changes in your body to be alarming. Does that sound like an accurate assessment or am I missing the mark here?

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Robin

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clairbaire123
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Thanks so much!

Yeah you're right. I mean, I'm on a new birth control and there's new changes and I don't know what to expect so I'm at a loss as to what is and what isn't ok!

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Karybu
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Have you looked at the nexplanon website at all? They have a list of possible side effects, if your healthcare provider didn't go through those with you already, so looking at that might give you a better idea of what can happen when using the implant.

Really though, I think you just have to realize that there's no way anybody can know exactly how your body in particular is going to react. The human body - with or without any kind of medication - is not totally predictable, and small changes happen. Plus, you've only just recently started this method, so things are going to be a bit wonky for a while, and that's not something you can do anything about.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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clairbaire123
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Thanks! I did!

"You may experience longer or shorter bleeding during your periods or have no bleeding at all. "

If one gets their period the time it usually comes during their menstrual cycle, does that mean that the nexplanon is not working?

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Molias
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"You may experience" is just to say that those things are possible. No discernible change in periods is also possible, and isn't a sign that there's a problem with the implant.
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clairbaire123
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My HP told me that a possible sign that it isnt working is if one gets their periods every month and pre-menstrual symptoms beforehand.

I thought that was pretty fishy because I mean, the nexplanon site said that people can still have their periods.

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clairbaire123
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I talked to an educator at Planned Parenthood on their chat & they said the same thing as you!
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clairbaire123
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I spoke to my nurse and she said that I'm supposed to get periods and my implant is still effective. Thanks so much.
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clairbaire123
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I got three different opinions that all said the same thing, that a normal period on the nexplanon does not indicated that it is ineffective. I feel slightly uneasy now with my healthcare provider due to the information that she gave me, like I can't believe her now. Should I seek out yet another opinion or accept that my HP may have made a mistake?

[ 05-06-2013, 10:06 PM: Message edited by: clairbaire123 ]

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Karybu
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I think at this point, with the same information from three different sources, you can assume that your healthcare provider was incorrect. It sounds like they haven't been the greatest provider for you in a couple of different ways, so maybe it's time to look for someone else.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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clairbaire123
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She's the only one that has "training" with the nexplanon and so I don't know who else to talk to but I feel like she's lost her credibility with me and I dont know if I can trust everything she's told me, about how squeezing the nexplanon doesnt decrease effectiveness and everything else Ive gone to ask her about
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Heather
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How about discussing this with her directly, or asking to switch to a different provider when it's time for you to have sexual healthcare again (which, if you just had all your tests and exams before the nexplanon insert, will likely be around another year or so)?

Really, those seem to be the only ways to address this at this point, save a third option of just letting this all go, especially given that you do have credible information from several sources now.

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clairbaire123
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She's only in the clinic on Thursdays and I mean, she is really nice to me but I guess, she's not used to the questions I've asked, she mentioned that no ones thought of these questions before.

For my own peace of mind, would you mind if I just re-iterate and summarize the concerns that I brought up to her, to you? It would ease my mind and correct my understanding of what I was told by trusted sources here if Im wrong.

1. Receiving a period during the normal time of ones menstrual cycle does not indicate that the nexplanon is working.
2. Irregular bleeding and spotting between periods is a really common side effect.
3. http://staminalaura.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/nexplanon.jpeg--touching or squeezing the nexplanon does not decrease its effectiveness.

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Heather
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1. Yes, that's correct.
2. That is also correct (in fact, when we're trained to do consults on this method, we're told we should check to see if a person would be comfortable if they had spotting every single day, because that level would be unusual, but is possible with the implant)
3. Yes, that's correct, too.

I think at this point, clair, that if you're not feeling really good about this method, while this healthcare provider may play some part in that, it might be that you kind of need to go back to the conversations we've had in the past, where you address what might be discomfort with bigger issues, okay?

A highly effective contraceptive can prevent pregnancy, to be sure, and almost always will, even when used alone. But what it can't do is magic away anxiety about sex or pregnancy that might be bigger than this or involve other things.

Know what I mean?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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clairbaire123
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I talked to my original HP provide (not the midwife who did the insertion) and she said that it make take a couple of months for me to trust an "invisible" method, she said its common with her other patients too.

I totally get what you're saying and appreciate you bringing that up with me! I'm going to take a break from sexual activity and try to determine if Im so anxious about my BC method or fears about pregnancy and sex in general. From what I've been told and read, nexplanon is extremely effective and theres nothing I can do to cause it to fail. I'll take that into account when I think things through.

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Heather
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For sure, I think it's safe to say that you have one of the most highly effective, and also totally foolproof, methods there is. So, if you trust the science of how methods like it work (and I'd assume you'd not have chosen it if you didn't), and you find you still are wracked with fears and worries about pregnancy, even when also adding a backup method, like a condom, then...

...I think you can be very sure this really isn't about your method. So, I think trying to keep some self-awareness around that seems like a very good plan. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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clairbaire123
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Eek I re-read my post. I meant to say that receiving ones period during the normal time of their menstrual cycle does not mean that the nexplanon is NOT working! Is my understanding of that correct?
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