Hundreds of us are looking to get on the next big thing as far as contraception goes, and everyone wants the easy option; a convenient life.
Well, sometimes it doesn't go that way and for whatever reason, you have to stop and try again.
I can only write about my experiences, but if it helps other people to know that there's someone out there having a crappy time of it all then that's okay.
So..coming off the pill. I did that about two years ago. I had a properly dodge side effect from microgynon 30 that I can barely bring myself to talk about. Suffice to say it made me feel pregnant and horrid. I gained weight and became a monster, not to mention the side effects I don't care to talk about. I came off it immediately and noticed a bit of weight-loss, and thankfully, most of the side effects gave way.
Then, onto the Implant. God, I loved that implant. I had the usual 5 weeks of irritating bleeding, which was curbed by the use of Yasmin in conjunction with it. I was a bit fat then, but the weight dropped after I stopped the yasmin and the bleeding magically stopped also. hurrah.
Then, around Christmas 06, the bleeds started again. Totally constant, not painful, but annoying nonetheless. I was fobbed off by student health who told me I'd "probably got chlamydia"...(!) and refused to put me on the pill with it. I was sent to another division of student health who also refused the pill, but gave me traxanamic acid, despite my history of mefanemic acid not working. This stuff is supposed to thin or suppress bleeding. It works for some. Not for me.
I was really, really upset by the way I was treated at student health. I guess my experience isn't representative of how they are with other people, but suffice to say I deregistered.
So I went to a specialist clinic, where a wonderful doctor gave me a bit of time to tell her what *I* wanted. well, Mrs doctor lady, I want to not have bleeds, I don't want to get pregnant, and I want it done either magically, or with as little effort as possible.
Sod it, I was honest with her. Some of you are happy to have a monthly bleed - I'm not. I want rid. Years of no bleeding has left me safe in the knowledge that it's possible, and I am not ashamed to say that it is my ideal situation. Bear in mind that by this point I had been bleeding for about 3 months nonstop. A girl can dream.
She put a new implant in. It went swimmingly as far as removal and insertion was concerned, however the problem did not go away. And she told me that we do not have to put up with contraception not working as well as we'd hoped. If it's not good for you, go back.
My second implant [the sad failure that it was] was removed last week. I had gained a small amount of weight since its insertion [exam fat ] and it had become a little bit more embedded in my arm, so it took around 10 minutes to wiggle out with two vials of local. It wasn't the best removal, but meh, they're not always that difficult.
I had kinda hoped to try the IUS [merina] instead, but since my bleeding had now been going on for the best part of 6 months [oh yes] it had gone into the category of "unexplained bleeding" and I was advised to come off everything to check that it was being caused by the contraception as opposed to my body.
The Current Situation
So now you find me in a stage that I haven't been in since I was fifteen years old; sans contraception.
Oh my god, it's weird. Having to think about safe sex when I've had 9 months of steady relationship makes me feel like a kid again. I get the feeling I'm supposed to enjoy being "natural" and not pumping hormones into my body, but I feel ****ing terrible. I have cramps once again, the bleed I'm on is heavier than I've known in the time I've been on contraception and I've had a headache for three days. I hate every minute of this. I know it's necessary to determine what the hell is up with me, and it's been a very depressing time for me and t'other half [who is wonderful, btw]
I am of the convenience generation. I do NOT appreciate having to suffer cramps, inconvenience, paranoia ["is it on my pants, OMGOMG runtotheloo"] and the depression that goes with it. I am ROYALLY ****ed off. My nice doctor lady has advised that as soon as I feel like my body is cycling normally, I should go for exactly what I want, and if that doesn't work, she will keep trying till it does. I don't really know if I care about not bleeding at all anymore, just as long as it's not constant.
This is no one's fault. Nobody has let me down [apart from SHC], and as far as I know my body hasn't either. I am just trying to find out what works for me.
...and the point of waffling away, writing all this is to let you know that if you're struggling with side effects or whatever, you're not on your own.
It's not always easy for us to get something that works well right away, but there is no reason why we should settle for things that aren't making our lives easier. If your contraception isn't making you happy - do something about it. FIND a specialist family planning clinic or good GP who can deal with appointments, advice, insertion/prescription and any aftercare or checkups and get sorted.
And for you lucky buggers who got it right first time, good for you. I hate you a little bit.
Sure, I could have hidden this whole rant/smidge of advice behind anon, but that's not something I do. It's not personal then. If I'm me then you might just listen and not feel alone if YOU have a problem.