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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » implant v pills

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Author Topic: implant v pills
amychaos
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I know that the major advantage of having an implant is that you don't need to remember to take it every day. But i already know how the pill effects me, and my doctor said the implant will probably have the same side effects.
Can anyone help me with the pros and cons of each type of contraception?

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Heather
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Happy to help. [Smile]

They're both hormonal methods, but they're actually pretty different (unless you're using a progestin-only pill).

The combined pill is estrogen and progestin. The implant is progestin-only.

So, there would be a few potentially big differences besides how often you take the pills vs. the one-time insertion of the implant. If there are any benefits you enjoy from the estrogen in your pills -- like help with acne -- you wouldn't have those any more with the implant. Conversely, if you have any negative side effects due to the estrogen in your pill, those will likely stop with the implant.

The implant also poses a higher risk of breakthrough bleeding, so it wouldn't be uncommon for you to have more mid-cycle bleeding or spotting with it than you do (if you do) with your pill. You may or may not also have a little weight gain with the implant you didn't with the pill: progestin-only methods are more likely to result in minor weight gain. If you have any depression, it's also possible the implant may effect that more.

The implant also is more effective than the pill, especially in typical use (the pill is 92% effective typically, the implant over 99%).

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amychaos
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my doctor also said that as i have regular periods with the pill i could take them whilst using the implant. how would this affect the possible side effects.
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Heather
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You can NOT safely use the pill at the same time you're using the implant. Is that what you meant? If so, and that is really what your doctor said, your doctor is seriously mistaken and needs to review the prescribing information for the implant.

Using more than one hormonal method at once would pose serious health risks.

[ 04-06-2010, 10:05 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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amychaos
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I'm on microgynon 30 and planning on getting implanon, she said that once i started using my implant if i developed irregular bleeding then i could take pills as well.
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Heather
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Taking more than one method at a time can seriously increase your health risks. If there is a sound medical reason to take those risks, that's one thing.

But my suggestion would be to avoid taking those additional risks if you can: using both those methods is putting a LOT of hormones into your body, especially as a young person. If you do not want to risk unexpected bleeding or having periods be sporadic, it's probably smarter to just stick with your pill and not use the implant.

[ 04-06-2010, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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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amychaos
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yeah that's what i was thinking, i was going to change to the implant because i was worried about missing pills, but so far, in the last two years, i've only missed one or two, and taken a couple late.
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Heather
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You know you also have other options when it comes to the same hormone combination you have now that does not involve daily pills, right? The patch and ring are the same combination, and the patch needs to be changed once a week, the ring only once a month.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
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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