I struggled with whether to write about this or not. I haven't completely decided if I'm going to hit the "publish" button or not, but if you are reading this, then it means I did. It's something that's a bit personal and not dog training related. However, it's something I've decided to write about because I need some kind of outlet as well as, if I do publish it, I hope that someone else who has experienced this will get some comfort from it.
I'd say that this is a post for women, but really it's not. If you are a woman, or a man who's partner, has used the Implanon form of birth control then what I have to say may be useful to you.
Let me just start by saying that my experience is not everyone's experience. I know people who have used Implanon and it has been wonderful for them. However, my experience has not been good and I wish I had someone tell me about the negative consequences instead of telling me that there weren't any. It's my fault for not researching beforehand, but it's also my doctor's fault for not telling me either.
So, if you are still reading: here is my story about why Implanon may not be a good choice.
Mr. K and I decided even before we got married that human children were probably not going to be a part of our family. We decided that if children were ever to be a part that they would be adopted. There were many reasons for this decision. So, wen living in the UK I had Implanon implanted under the skin on my arm. The doctor did her best telling me why it is the best form of birth control and outlined all of the benefits, but she really didn't tell me much about the problems that can be associated with it. Unfortunately for me, I experienced most of the problems which eventually drove me to have it removed. I thought once it was gone that everything would go back to normal...whatever that is, but I was very much mistaken. I had it removed about two months ago and it's only been in the last two days or so that I've started to put two and two together. It has been so bad that I spent a good portion of two hours today researching Implanon, its benefits/risks and what people are saying about it once it's removed.
I've been moody, cranky,anti-social, unmotivated, angry, overly sensitive, argumentative and just generally not myself. Did I mention cranky and angry? My sleeping habits have been horrible. I've never had problems sleeping before and ever since the implant came out, my sleeping schedule has been all over the place. A lack of sleep is not helping the whole mood problem. I'm not generally a cranky person and I'm NOT an angry person, but I have experienced these two moods more in the last two months than I have in my entire life. My fuse is so short that it even surprises me when I blow a gasket. I'm in this place of perpetual anger and I don't understand. I'm really NOT an angry person. And, I love being social. I love going out and doing things, whether it's just out for coffee, a movie or a hike. I haven't wanted to do any of these things. Sometimes I can force myself because I know logically that I should and that it will ultimately make me feel better, but sometimes I just can't. The random sleeping and then always wanting to sleep has almost trumped the terribleness of the continuously grumpy/angry/irritated Jess.
So, what do I do about it?
That, I don't know.
What's made me feel better was finding forums where other women have expressed the same things I am feeling. I thought I was losing my mind, but reading that others are and have experienced the same things and are just as confused as I am, has helped. A solution would be nice and maybe an end date too, but at least I know I'm not alone. One woman said it took about six months before she was back to herself; another wrote that it was like she was pregnant again; someone else said her sleep was so bad that she was having nightmares. I think it's really easy for society to ignore the impact hormones has on people because it's not something we can see. It's not quantifiable or tangible and so therefore, for some, it really can't be that influential. I would disagree. I'm not saying hormone imbalance is an excuse, but it's a reason. Hormones are chemicals and any kind of chemical imbalance in the body can have consequences. Anything from Diabetes to growth problems in children. Studies have even shown that totally blind people struggle with sleep patterns due to lack of light synthesis. Without the processing of light, the chemicals (AKA hormones) in the body become all out of whack and sleeping becomes difficult. Hormones are much more powerful than we think.
That's why I've written this. Just in case someone else out there has just had the Implanon implant removed and are having drastic mood swings and are experiencing sleepless nights, fatigue and lack of motivation. Despite what some of the medical websites will have you believe, anecdotal accounts state that there are indeed side effects once the Implanon is removed. Having had an extensive academic career, I have a strong appreciation for empirical research, however, it is also important to investigate who is funding the research studies and whether they may gain or lose something from the results. My own research hasn't taken me that far, but I think in this case, the the forums addressing these symptoms may be a bit more accurate than the official Implanon website. In fact, the Implanon website does not have a section addressing removal at all. Removal is mentioned in passing with the insertion of the implant and it is only to warn the reader of how quickly they could become pregnant once the implant is removed.
As I've said above, not everyone experiences these symptoms. I know two women who have had great success with Implanon. So, it all comes down to your own body's response. My basic point here is to express my own experience and hopefully reassure at least one other person that they are not in fact losing their mind.