Warning: this blog post contains period chat.
I have been on hormonal contraception for about 4 years. I’m too selfish to be a mother right now; I just want to go to the theatre as much as possible and you can’t do that with a child. I was on the pill for a year but after hearing other people have such positive experiences using the contraceptive implant, I was a big girl and went to get it. And boy do I regret it.
I know other people have had far worse experiences than I have using various forms of contraception, but I’ve decided at the age of 23 I just need a break from hormones. A couple of months ago I was toying with the idea of having it removed, and last week I finally had it out. And whilst I obviously haven’t noticed any changes yet, I
Here’s the thing: I’ve never had anything more than a hormonal breakout so I didn’t need hormone to prevent spots, and my periods were always regular and I rarely got cramping. Even from day one. The pill kept everything regular, but when I came off antidepressants in September 2015, I wanted to stop taking oral medication (I wasn’t brave enough to just use condoms, but when I read this post from Hannah a couple of years ago I was like yes, yes, yes, this is how I feel).
Flashforward to December 2015 and I’d booked myself in to get the implant put in. It was a really easy experience, and despite the unfortunate knee dislocation the following which meant the crutch rubbed on the wound, it healed no problem at all. Maybe I was preoccupied trying to get ready for Christmas, manoeuvre through Manchester Piccadilly on crutches (don’t do it) and get up off the floor in my splint to work out what was going on but I didn’t have a real issue with it.
In fact, my period disappeared for about three months – brilliant! And then it came, but not for the usual 6 days oh no. The three months of periods I’d missed came in succession. Almost three weeks of bleeding. I liked the three months of nothing, but three weeks of something was not cool. This went on for about a year, until I suddenly didn’t get three months of nothing. I got one week of nothing and three weeks of bleeding, and to be completely frank: when you’re in a long distance relationship, being on your period when you’re with your boyfriend is a total buzzkill.
I obviously haven’t noticed any changes yet (not at the time of writing this anyway, I literally had it out three hours ago when I sat down to type up), but I wanted to get this post up so I could explain my thought process. Because Jack and I aren’t ready for children so why on earth would I risk it?
Well it turns out I’m a little bit stupid in the fact I just took my friends’ opinions on the contraception. Whilst I researched it a little, it wasn’t for me. I’m a stickler for the rules, but it doesn’t mean I’m happy about following them. I just don’t like to be forced into doing something. I went from having chemicals that I could control pumped into me every day to being unable to control it. And that’s definitely not something that I’m okay with.
Moral of the story? You’ve got to do what’s right for you. I’m still tackling my depression and anxiety every day, and whilst I never talk about it anymore, it doesn’t make it not real. The option of not being able to change which chemicals are going in and out of my body just isn’t for me, and I’m excited to take a break. I will be going back onto something eventually, but when I do it will be for me.
I’m looking for a few things from this experience really, which seems a little brave to put out there in the world but I’m going to do it. I want to be in a more positive place when it comes to my sexual health, and the only way I feel I can own that is if I have some time away from being forced to take hormones. I also am hoping to feel happier in myself; one of the side-effects of the implant is a depressive mood and when you already have one, it doesn’t make things any better. Whilst I had anxiety prior to life on contraceptive medication, my depression really took hold when I first went on the pill. Then I went to the implant straight away and never looked into whether the hormones I’ve forced into my body were a cause of this. And finally, I’m looking forward to letting my body be my body again. I’m giving it the chance to go back to it’s old self. Oh, and if I could lose the weight I put on when I started taking hormonal contraception that would be swell
Wow this was a very personal post for me, and is probably a whole load of drivel but I just wanted to share why I’ve made these decisions, and why it’s important to make them for yourself. You can’t base your life decisions on your friends, especially when it’s something as important as your wellbeing.