24 Oct 2012

Travel & Contraception: Nexplanon Review

Before we go any further, boys, you probably really don't want to read this.  If you do don't say I didn't warn you.  Girls, you definitely do want to read this.  Contraception is of course something to think about carefully.  I have chosen the nexplanon implant, and I wanted to write a little about it because there's a lot of mixed reviews both online and offline.  Even doctors and nurses often seem to say different things about it.

My reasons for taking the implant option were mainly that it lasts three years, it is very reliable and it won't create a problem with time zones like taking a pill would.  Taking a pill alone is a problem, I for one am hugely forgetful with that sort of thing.  My doctor directed me to this document, a super useful comparison aid from www.patient.co.uk.  The other great thing about it for travelling is that it doesn't create a higher risk of DVT like some pills do, very important to consider for long haul flights.

I thought about it and decided to go for it.  I was told that the best trial period to give it is three to six months, I had about four months before I was jetting off.  That time is almost up now.  Some of the potential side effects are weight gain, bad skin and I've heard a lot of people get depression and mood swings.  I can't speak for anyone else, but personally I've had none of these.  Zero.  My cycle has been disrupted, but it is slowly (very slowly) settling down.  A really, really good thing is that my cramps have significantly reduced.  Before I'd need to take two paracetamol along with two ibuprofen, a hot water bottle, a big slab of chocolate and be quarantined in a dark room until they subsided (okay that's a slight exaggeration, but you're a girl, you know what I'm talking about).  Now I barely notice it at all which is fantastic.  Again, this is good for travel - there's nothing more miserable than being in that amount of pain in thirty degree sweaty, humid heat.

As for the procedure, I am squeamish but it was totally fine.  It took about 30 seconds to insert, there was no pain, no gore.  I didn't even get a bruise like most people do!  Either I'm lucky or my doctor had skills.  With the implant I think people react to it very differently, if you're considering it I definitely think the best thing to do is to give it a go for a bit (my doc said three to six months is best).  I hope you found this useful, if you're a boy, sorry... I did warn you!