I noticed there wasn't a 'Birth Control Experiences' thread for Implanon (please let me know if I just missed it!). I'm considering switching to a longer-term method because I'm in a committed long-term relationship but know that we don't want to have kids for at least five years (if ever). I was thinking an IUD would be best, but now I'm not so sure. I'd have to do Mirena, because I have horrible cramps without my hormonal BC and don't want to exacerbate them with the copper IUD. But I also know that it's not exactly recommended for women who haven't been pregnant before, which is frustrating. That's why I was thinking Implanon, but then I see on Birth Control Bingo that there's a big chance of irregular spotting. Is there a bigger chance with Implanon than Mirena? There's also all this scary stuff about Implanon breaking or not being removable or leaving you with huge scars on the Implanon website. Are those risks generally any higher than the risk of Mirena expelling or implanting in your uterus or increasing your risk of vaginal infection?
Also, I think that my sex drive went down when I started hormonal BC. I was on the combined BC pill from age 16 and have been on the NuvaRing for about the last year. When talking with my partner, it seems like my sex drive also plummeted (mostly, it was harder for me to get aroused) around the time that I went on hormonal BC. I don't know if that could also just be because I got older. I'd love to get off hormonal BC to see if it really is affecting me (I think it might also be making me more moody and depressed, although again this is me reflecting back over many years), but I'm scared because my cramps were SO awful, which is the whole reason I got on. I'm also not comfortable with the slightly lower effectiveness rates of barrier methods. Would the Implanon or Mirena generally have lower side-effects? I know everyone is different, but I'd hate to get something so expensive if it was just going to make things worse...
Also, I know this is stuff I should really talk to a doctor about, and I plan to make an appointment, I just want to have a good idea of what's going on before I go in. I can't go to planned parenthood, where I went for my NuvaRing prescription, because of insurance issues (I'm on a state birth control program, but they're required to run my other insurance before they bill the program [even though my lame school insurance doesn't cover birth control], and planned parenthood doesn't have an agreement with my insurance company so they can't take me). I'd feel way more comfortable if I was able to go to PP, but since I can't I want to go to whatever OB/GYN I end up at as prepared as possible.
As far as side effects go, it really is one of those things you just have to find out for yourself. Spotting or irregular bleeding is possible with both methods, although it may be more likely to continue with Implanon than with Mirena. Implanon does contain more hormones - the hormones in Mirena are localized and mostly there to counteract the possible side effects of an IUD like heavy periods. So, if you're looking for something with as low a level of hormones as possible, then Mirena would likely be a good choice.
As far as risks of insertion/removal go, those are very, very rare with Implanon. Insertion of any IUD can be more difficult in women who have never been pregnant before, and there's a higher chance of expulsion, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible for you to have an IUD. How the risks of Mirena compare to those of Implanon is something best asked of your doctor, because it does depend on your unique body.
-------------------- "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy Posts: 5775 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004
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I thought I'd add this here, since there's no birth control experiences thread for Implanon.
I did decide to go with Implanon, as my doctor said it would be less likely that I would have cramps with Implanon than Mirena, simply because of where Mirena is located. She also said that Implanon is basically 100% effective - that the only people who get pregnant on Implanon were actually one or two days pregnant when they had the device inserted.
I had my partner come with me to see the insertion, mostly because I wanted to see his reaction since he's scared on needles, hehehe. The actual insertion did not hurt at all, although the area of insertion ached for about two days afterward. Here are some pros and cons of the whole process:
Pros: - Quick! The actual insertion took about fifteen minutes, including prep. It was also pretty painless!
- Didn't have cramps during my first period! I had the device put in on June 11, two weeks after my last period, and have only had one light period since then.
- The hole where it was inserted looks like a freckle, it's so small!
- Unlike the IUD, I can use a menstrual cup if I want to!
- It lasts for three years! I literally do not have to worry about being pregnant for three years. In fact, I'm giving my Plan B to a friend, I'm so not worried.
Cons: - Couldn't have sex for 10 days beforehand, to make sure I wasn't pregnant when I had the device put in! I also couldn't have sex for a week after.
- Although the hole where it was put in was small, the bandages around it were big and bulky and I had to take baths rather than showers for a few days after so I didn't get my arm wet. The doctor also pulled one of the bandages really tight, and I ended up with a nasty half-inch blister that looked much worse than the device hole!
- I've never had very bad acne before (more than two pimples at once is pretty bad, usually), but I'm breaking out all across my forehead and nose now. I haven't really been using any sort of special acne face wash for a while, so I'm just going to try a bunch and see how it goes.
- COST. I am on a birth control program through my state, so the Implanon was free, but without coverage the visit I made would have cost over $1200 (according to my other health insurance, which does NOT cover birth control or 'related services' )
- Breakthrough bleeding between cycles is likely, so I have to carry a pad around with me just in case. This isn't a big deal for me, but it might be for some.
Overall, I'm very glad I got the device because it's foolproof, and easy. I wouldn't have gotten it if I had to spend more than a few hundred dollars, though. If your insurance doesn't cover it, I wouldn't recommend it for teens or young adults, who likely don't have the funds for it. I was on the pill for 3 years, and that can be a very cost-effective alternative that I didn't really have many problems with. This is so easy, though, that I don't want to go back to the pill!
Posts: 14 | From: US | Registered: Feb 2010
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