The first thing you may be wondering is, "What on earth is Implanon?". Well, ladies it is a matchstick sized implant that a doctor sticks under your skin in you upper arm. This birth control last for just about 3 years, before the doctors remove it. It is a "long term" birth control. It is different from IUDs because it doesn't last as long, and it doesn't go into your uterus. 

Here is some info about the birth control implant from Planned Parenthood
The birth control implant is a thin, flexible plastic implant about the size of a cardboard matchstick. It is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. It protects against pregnancy for up to three years. The implant is available under the brand names Implanon and Nexplanon.

It took me quite some time to decide whether or not the Implanon was right for me. Years, really. I have done a few different types of birth control, abstinencecondomsthe pill, the morning after pill (an emergency contraceptive), and Depo

Since I was about 16, I have been on birth control. I started with the pill, and quickly found out that even with reminders and alarms, I really really SUCKED at remembering to take it! I stayed on that for a while, and honestly, I don't think I took it often enough for it to be effective.

At around 17 or 18, I found out about Depo. Depo is "the shot" birth control that lasts for about 3 months. It saved me! I didn't have to remember anything besides making an appointment 3 months out, easy peasy. The only problem with depo is that doctors only recommend taking it for about 2 years at a time. I loved being on Depo though, it stopped my periods, thus stopping my cramps which seem to be getting more and more painful as I get older. 

So many times from about 20 and on, I practiced abstinence. I got married at 22 and husband and I used condoms mostly, until I decided to get back on Depo. I got back on depo in March of 2012, and I stayed on it until December 2012. Until I was getting some side effects from it (ie. hot flashes). So I went to the doctor and she recommended that I try to get on the pill to see if the hot flashes went away. So in December 2012 that's when I tried the pill again. I soon realized that I STILL really sucked at taking it ON TIME, EVERY DAY. Even as a 25 year old adult woman with a phone that can tell me to TAKE THE DAMN PILL, I still forgot. I slept in, I ignored it... etc etc. I finally called to make an appointment to get the Implanon.

Maybe now you're wondering "How does Implanon work?". Planned Parenthood says:
Like several other methods of birth control, such as the birth control shot, the birth control implant releases a hormone — progestin. Hormones are chemicals made in our bodies. They control how different parts of our bodies work.
The progestin in the birth control implant works by
  • keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with the sperm.
  • making a woman's cervical mucus thicker. This keeps sperm from getting to the eggs.

This passed Monday (March 11th, 2013) I had my appointment. Let me tell you, I was nervous! It didn't help that the male nurse had a really thick Korean accent! I had no idea what he was saying to me most of the time. He was very nice though, trying to help me lower my blood pressure... haha. I was nervous because I wasn't 100% sure how on earth they were going to put it in me. I thought that they were going to make a smal incision, and jam it in there. ha. It was nerve-wracking. 

Anyway, I had to do a pregnancy test to prove to the doctors that I wasn't pregnant. Now, that is scary, EVEN IF you KNOW you're not pregnant! That's probably why I was so nervous that my blood pressure was up. haha. When the doctor came in he told me that I wasn't pregnant and we could get started on inserting the Implanon.

How do they put it in? How is it removed?
After taking your medical history and giving you a physical exam, your health care provider will numb a small area of your arm with a painkiller. The birth control implant is inserted under the skin. Insertion takes only a few minutes.
After insertion, be sure to tell any health care provider you may see that you are using the birth control implant.
The implant is effective for three years after it is inserted. After that, it should be removed. Even though it stops working, it may interfere with your period.
The implant can be removed at any time. Your health care provider will numb the area with a painkiller and will usually make one small cut to remove the implant. Removal usually takes just a few minutes, but it generally takes longer than insertion. A new implant may be inserted at this time. Pregnancy can happen anytime after the implant is removed.

The doctor had me lay down. He then started talking about how he wished that there was music playing. I offered to play the music from my iPhone and made sure that none of my screaming, inappropriate language, etc etc bothered him. And he said not at all, and that AC/DC was his favorite. I said I had Queen, and they were my favorite, and he was down for that. We listened to Queen for my whole appointment. It really helped me relax.

So I am laying there and he tells me to put my arm over my head, and flex, so that he could feel where my muscles in my bicep were and were not. Honestly, I didn't watch the entire time, I was really nervous. I was shaking on the inside. lol. I tried to just focus on the music, and the lyrics.

He numbed the area of my arm using a syringe, that's the only part that hurt. Just like when they stick the needle in to take blood, just a little pinch. And then my arm was numb. From what I could tell the Implanon was in a needle-like thing and they used that to insert it. It didn't hurt. All I could feel was pressure. It really felt like he was trying to work it in there. It was weird.

As soon as it started, it was over. It took less than 20 minutes or so to insert (not including the rest of the appointment time). The doc said that I should touch it... I did, it grossed me out, feeling this foreign object in my arm. He said that I need to feel where it was so I could keep track of it. If I couldn't feel it at some point, I needed to come into the clinic to get it removed.

They patched me up, just with some gauze, and a bandaid and sent me off. There was a wrap around my arm, and they said that I should try to leave it on for as long as I could, it would help the bruising.

I took this photo about one hour after the insertion, it was starting to bruise. It was still numb.

Okay, okay, I know it looks gross, but let me tell you. LOL. I couldn't keep the bandage on for that long. It was super annoying. Also, the yellow is iodine. The red hole is where the inserted the implanon. The center of the bruise is where the implanon implant starts, and about half an inch from the hole is where it ends. I would say that the implant is approximately two inches long.

New bandaid and the bruise is already starting to slightly look better.

This is the next day (Tuesday), after I woke up. Now the bruise is red. It's seeming to look a lot better. It was kind of hurting this day, so I just took some pain reliever. If you look closely at the bruised area, you can kind of see the raised area of where the implant is. It feels so weird.

Not too much change. But, it feels fine from what I can tell. I am supposed to keep it clean and bandaged for about three days. I will try to determine if I need to keep it bandaged for longer or not. It's kind of weird to see the little hole under the bandaid. Not sure how I feel about not keeping a bandaid on it.

Today (Thursday), almost 72 hours after the insertion. It feels fine. It's starting to itch though, I am assuming a part of the healing process. Just a little weird still. But I am sure before long, I will forget about it until March 2016 when I need to get it removed.

What kind of birth control do you use? Do you have any questions about this one that you think I could answer?


  1. The first pill I was even on made my cramps worst. Then I stopped and got on ortho cyclen and it's been smooth sailing every since. I've found that 3pm is the perfect time to set me alarm reminder because I'm generally awake and at my desk at 3pm.

    1. I don't work, so I am never really in the same place at any certain time. There is no good time to pill take for me! lol.

  2. This kind of makes me happy to be past that... let's all hear it for having a hubby who got snipped... so nice!!! and thanks for pinning me in the last post!!! Love that cutlery drawing... it is one of my favourites...xx

  3. Honestly just looking at those pictures made me a little nauseous! LOL
    I have been on the exact same brand of B/C pill since I was 16, never had to switch and never had a problem. I guessI should consider myself lucky.

    1. I only had issues with the DEPO really, causing hot flashes. But, I just cannot remember to take the pill. lol.

      Sorry the photos made you feel sick! It's just bruising! lol And it's almost all the way better now! :)

  4. I really enjoyed the deppo when i had it /had insurance but then i went rogue and couldnt afford it :( just as well as i began hearing scary things aboutit.


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