…That got your attention, didn’t it? LOL.
Today I wanna share with you all a little about my experiences with hormonal contraception. This is gonna be quite a personal post, so I suggest if you’re a parent, family member, work colleague, ex-boyfriend or someone else with reason to feel uncomfortable reading about my birth control history, please feel free to click off this post now or forever hold your peace.
There, you’ve been warned.
This post was triggered because I’m due to get my third contraceptive implant removed soon, and we have decided that after me not having a period for over 10 years, it’s about time I get my body back to normal and get my cycle regulated so that when we’re ready to start a family, hopefully it’ll be easier to calculate a pattern of ovulation. When you haven’t had a period in over 10 years, you’re absolutely clueless about whereabouts in your cycle you are, and I guess it’s natural to experience worry and anxiety wondering if everything’s ok, and hoping your body is still able to function and work normally.
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been experiencing those kinda anxieties within the last 3 years. I didn’t care so much before that, as having kids wasn’t in my future plans before I met Sam, so it was never really something I put much thought into.
So let’s rewind all the way back to when I was 15. My mum and I had a conversation about contraception and we decided that the best thing for me would be to go on the pill. I always wanted to be in control of my own body when it came to contraception. I didn’t wanna ever trust someone else with something that important, because lets face it, if the consequences were to happen, it would happen to ME and MY body.. not them and theirs, so whether I was with a guy that was happy to take on the responsibility of contraception or not, I still wasn’t willing to hand over that control to someone else. And I still stand by that today. You’ve gotta be responsible and always take care of yourself.
I was on Microgynon 30 from the age of 15 to 19, with no problems at all, and it worked really well for me, but I decided that I wanted something that I didn’t have to think about each day, as I was working a lot, taking exams and all that jazz… I was worried I’d forget to take it, and didn’t feel that it was a reliable form of contraception for me. I didn’t trust myself to remember to take it every day, so I chose to try the Depo-Provera injection instead. I used that from the age of 19 to 21, again with no problems. The only problem I had was that there was a couple of times where I was a week or two late for my next injection, which was totally my fault, so had to take pregnancy tests before they agreed to give me my next injection. Which was fair enough, they have to cover themselves, but I didn’t like doing that one bit. I know some may think it’s silly and it wouldn’t bother a lot of people, but I never really wanted to ever have to take pregnancy tests and hope for a negative result. If I was ever sitting there waiting two minutes for that result, I wanted it to be at a time where I was hoping and praying that the result would be positive. And, as my situation at that time was that I didn’t want to have children, I just wanted to stay away from pregnancy tests altogether. Preventing it happening was all I really cared about, so I needed something more permanent than an injection every 3 months.
I was dead-set on not having children back then, so the idea of taking away my periods was absolutely fine with me. I was never one of these girls that cried off school or work with period pains or anything like that – I guess I got lucky, but I never had any problems with menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding or anything, but periods were just a bit of a ballache.. and an inconvienience to me. And as I didn’t need them, I just thought “meh, screw it” and decided to try a more permanent method of contraception. I considered the coil, but I heard a few stories that really put me off, and went through a few other options, but settled on the implant.
I had my first implant at 21, and it was the nuts. My periods stopped, I had no discomfort or anything at all and everything was hunky dory for 3 whole years. I loved it. Best decision I made. The time came to have my implant removed, so I visited my GP and attended an appointment to have it removed.
…Which would have been fine if it was just the usual tiny cut in the arm and slide the implant out. Needless to say, mine wasn’t that simple. I was in there for half an hour and ended up with a huge slit in my arm, and I was covered in blood. It wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences. Basically, the implant had moved slightly and wasn’t as easy to remove as there was all this.. stuff.. around it. (I don’t even know what, I didn’t wanna know – but more than likely some kinda tissue or something else just as disgusting and gross..) but as the removal didn’t go so well, the doctor asked me if I wanted to have another one inserted at the same time to save me going through all that pain again. I had to sign a consent form to clarify that I requested it to be done on the same date and then I walked outta there with implant number 2. Another 3 years went by, no problems at all. My long term relationship ended during that time and then I had no need for any contraception whatsoever, but didn’t see a point of getting it removed just to have to sort another method of contraception out at a later date, so kept it in and forgot about it for a loooooonnnng time.
And then I met Sam. We had only been together a few months when I had to go back for another removal / insertion, and although our relationship became super-serious, my feelings were changing and all of a sudden I had all these new hopes, dreams and started to feel comfortable and quite excited about the idea of one day having children, it was still quite soon into our relationship, so after having a chat with Sam about it, another implant was the obvious option. It gave us 3 years where we wouldn’t need to worry about anything, or make any serious decisions.
2018 seemed such a long time away back then.. who knew where we’d be, or what we’d be doing… but I had already said to Sam that after having 2 previous implants, and knowing that would make it over 10 years since my body has functioned properly, we had already decided that this was gonna be my last implant, and if necessary, we’d work out another form of contraception after it comes out.
So that’s where we are now. I’ve had a bit of trouble actually getting a doctor to remove this implant for me. I’m not gonna disclose the names of the surgeries, but I’m not all that impressed. Basically, my doctors went through a bit of a hiccup a few years ago and lost pretty much all of their normal doctors. I already had an appointment booked with a doctor to remove my implant, then received a phonecall to say that the doctor that was due to remove the implant for me had left the surgery, and that a referral has been made for me at another surgery to remove my implant and insert a new one.
I called my doctors to ask for an appointment to remove it, only to be told by the receptionist that because they didn’t actually insert it, they can’t remove it and that I’d have to contact the surgery that I had it put in at, to remove it, even though I’m not actually registered at that doctors. (?!) So I called up the other surgery and explained the situation, and apparently they couldn’t find ANY record or documentation of ANY kind that I ever had an implant inserted there, so they said that because I’m not registered there and they have no record of me ever having attended an appointment there, that they couldn’t remove it, and that I’d need to contact the surgery that I’m registered to.
Take a second to think about that… no records of me ever having attended their surgery… WHY is there no record of me ever having attended their surgery?! I mean.. do they not keep records of people they cut open?! I was LIVID. So after kicking off BIG TIME at both surgeries, I managed to get an appointment to have a consultation to have it removed at my usual surgery. I did tell the receptionist that this is not my first time, and I know what happens and really don’t feel like I need a consultation to prepare me for it, but she explained that it’s procedure and the doctor likes to talk through other family planning options and all that shadoodle. Fair enough. We already have a plan for what we wanna do anyway, so I know how that conversation’s gonna go.. lol.
My journey using hormonal contraception has actually been a positive one – I’ve never really had many problems with any contraception I’ve ever been on, but it has triggered up an interesting thought. I went from the pill, to the injection to the implant without any break inbetween.. from the age of 15. So, I experienced puberty, adolescence, adulthood and now I’m at the age of 30, and (arguably) a fully grown woman and should be completely in control of my own feelings and emotions.
…But, having been on contraception since the age of 15, all of which has probably totally messed with my hormones in one way or another… my body has never had a “normal baseline” without some form of artificial hormones put in my bloodstream. Not to mention that I also have an underactive thyroid, and all the fun hormone changes that come with that too. …So the question I have, is… who even AM I?! lol.. a strange thought, perhaps, but I wonder how different I would be without the thyroid dysfunction, or the hormones from the contraception I’ve put into my body over the last 10 years. Since my teens, where all your hormones are all over the place anyway.. I’ve never had a natural baseline. ….That’s insane.
I said to Sam the other day, like… what if I completely change when the implant comes out? What if I’m a total stressy, moody arseface and I get all jealous and insecure and turn into some kinda psycho…? He just laughed, told me not to be silly and that he’d love me no matter what happens.. but it’s such a strange thought. It’s kinda scary to think about, but I guess whatever happens, we’ll deal with it.
Everything’s gonna change in my body again when I get pregnant anyway, and then again when the baby’s born… told ya, being a girl is hard. We never get a break.
And that was pretty much the point of this post. Most of my readers are women in their 20’s and 30’s, and contraception is an issue for almost all of those women. I often see women on various social media groups ask questions about contraception, and asked to share their experiences, so there’s mine. I’ve been using contraception for all of my adult life, and I’ve been lucky enough to never have any issues with anything I’ve used, never had any hiccups, pregnancy scares or anything. A lot of women seem to have a lot of trouble with contraception, but I’ve had a pretty smooth ride. There’s so many options out there though, so even if one form doesn’t work for you, there’s lots of others to try. My advice would just be to go with the flow and pick a method of contraception that fits in with your lifestyle. At the end of the day, as long as you’re being safe and responsible, it’s all good. 🙂
It’s been lovely to post something so real and honest, and I’d like to write more personal pieces like this, but please don’t come to me with questions about when we’re gonna officially start trying and things like that. We’re keeping our decisions on that subject private. That way there’s no stress, no pressure on us and no expectations from anyone else. All that’s happening at the moment is that I’m excited to take the first step in preparing my body for such an amazing adventure.
It’s so bizarre how life can change. It proves that however sure you think you are about something.. never say never, because when everything falls into place and you’re finally happy, something you never thought you’d have is suddenly everything you could ever want. And I can’t wait to see what the future holds.