There are many different reasons for a woman to be on birth control; whether it is to prevent pregnancy, regulate periods or clear acne, each woman uses birth control for different outcomes. Although there are many opinions surrounding birth control, it is an important subject for women to be educated on in order for them to individually make the best decision for their health and lifestyle.
There are many different forms of birth control, both hormonal and non-hormonal, including the everyday oral pills, the IUD, the patch, the implant, the ring and many more. The most common hormonal contraceptives include the hormones estrogen and progestin, or a combination of both, and each hormonal combination can affect every woman in a different way, so as a disclaimer, my birth control experience will most likely differ from every other woman's.
I have been through a rollercoaster of side effects, emotions, and changeS for more than two years due to being on and off of birth control pills. Finding the right combination that reaped the side effects I could handle was difficult. I was on an estrogen-only pill for most of my freshman year of college which cleared my face, did not effect my weight and had good physical benefits for my anemia. Although I couldn't complain about the physical side effects, I decided to stop using this form of birth control due to the anxiety it caused.
Many women struggle with a change in mentality because of birth control hormones and although it can be manageable, there are so many other options and combination of hormones that can allow for a happier mental state. After months of research and conversations with my gynecologist, I decided to go on Nexplanon, which is a small hormonal implant that lasts up to three years.
The main reasons I chose the Nexplanon implant were how it would affect my anemia and mental state, as well as the reliability of not having to worry about taking a pill the same time every day. This decision was not made lightly because Nexplanon is not a form of birth control that I can stop taking or remove easily since it is surgically placed beneath the skin. Nexplanon contains the etonogestrel hormone which, because of its location, releases a low dose into the bloodstream over the course of three years.
The side effects concerning menstrual cycles vary from no bleeding at all to light spotting and even to heavy bleeding. Every woman who receives the implant has a different chemical balance in her body, therefore a doctor cannot accurately predict the patterns and side effects that will occur within a recipient of Nexplanon.
The insertion procedure involved my doctor marking the area where the implant would be placed, sterilizing the location, numbing the area with an injection and inserting the implant with its corresponding applicator. The only painful part of the procedure was the numbing injection, which could be compared to a bee sting lasting five seconds and after that, there was no feeling in my arm. The implant was placed in my non-dominant arm due to the bruising and pain that would be experienced during the healing process. The day of the insertion, I experienced the most pain due to the discomfort of the bruising and sensitivity of the area, but every day after that, my arm recuperated very quickly.
Overall, I made the right decision for my mind and body by choosing to get the Nexplanon implant. If you are experiencing any mental or physical side effects that you do not favor, talk to your gynecologist in order to discuss changing your birth control method, or if you are considering starting birth control for the first time, do your research and make sure you make the right decision for you.
Every woman will experience different side effects on the same forms of birth control, so make sure to never judge a method on reviews because your body could react differently. Birth control is not a subject to shy away from due to the benefits it yields on young women, especially in college, and starting or switching birth controls for the safety and happiness of your lifestyle is always an option to consider.