If you want to get caught up with what the hell I had injected in my arm and why, see these links first: Part One – Why I’m Choosing Implanon, Part Two – The Insertion, Part Three – The First Two Months. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can follow the links in those links to read all about how much birth control has hated me.
Well, it works. I’m not pregnant but after fifteen weeks I’m still up in the air about it. In my last post I covered the major side effects I had for the first two months. At the end of it, all I was still dealing with was the discoloration in my arm, the bleeding, my skin issues, and dryness. I was pretty optimistic at the time and was hoping that I’d get an opportunity to test it out before the three years were up.
Things seemed to be going pretty well for the next week or so after I wrote that post. It seemed like everything had finally adjusted to new hormones.
My arm continued to heal and is now fully back to normal except for a small dot from the injection that probably won’t go away. I’m okay with that. I still really love playing with the implant when I’m bored.
The bleeding, the skin issues, and the dryness have been much more of an adventure, though. I started bleeding again ten days after I wrote that post. I assumed that it was my period but, like before, it didn’t go away. It fluctuated between feeling like real period and feeling like spotting. It was like it just wouldn’t stop leaking. Seriously, I felt like my vagina had a leak.
Besides that, I was still completely dry and the combination got really uncomfortable. I started using lube just for the sake of alleviating the constant irritation.
It got better for a little while and the bleeding died down enough that I didn’t have to do anything about it to stay clean, so I decided to be content and hope it would go away again. I contacted my doctor about the dryness and he said that if I could wait it out, my body might adjust and feel normal again by the fourth month. I agreed to wait it out. Then I put November 18th on my calendar as a countdown to when I was probably ripping the thing out of my arm.
On the other hand, I discovered that the dryness of daily life didn’t extend into dryness during sex. In that area, everything was perfect. Knowing that my implant wasn’t necessarily going to enforce abstinence, I was feeling a little more patient about giving it a chance to play nice with my body.
About a week later, though, something felt really wrong. I very suddenly started to feel like I had a UTI or something like that. I had weird pains in my pelvic area and the dryness was causing a lot of itching and irritation.
I immediately scheduled an appointment to see a doctor at a nearby clinic that was open in the evenings. Unfortunately, that was the evening that I lost my wallet for the first time that week, which I realized upon trying to show them my ID for my visit. They refused to see me because they require photo ID and immediate payment of Co-payment.
How exactly do you see a doctor if you lose your ID?
At that point I felt scared and kind of fucked. If I did have a UTI it could go to my kidney, like it did a year and a half ago, before I could replace my ID. Besides being furious at the medical establishment, I felt stuck.
Luckily, my wallet was returned to me the next day. That evening I went to another clinic and got to see a doctor right away. We talked about my symptoms, my implant, my sexual history, etc and she said that she would run tests and whatnot. I asked her to test me for STDs as well.
We went through a few rounds of, “Nope, it’s not this. Need more fluids to do more testing,” before she concluded that all of the problems (maybe not the bleeding?) were caused by inflammation. She told me that it was a side effect from the hormones. I didn’t need a prescription for anything but I should start taking a probiotic right away and my symptoms would probably go away in about two weeks.
I was so frustrated with the implant at that point that I really wanted to go home and cut the thing out of myself instead of going and buying the probiotic but, since self surgery is generally frowned upon unless you’re in a zombie apocalypse, I opted for the probiotic instead.
I bought a mega potent, just-for-the-lady-parts kind, so it only took a few days for me to feel almost completely better. Unfortunately it didn’t stop my bleeding leak. That still ebbed and flowed at random. A few days ago it finally stopped again. I’m going to go for naïve optimism and hoping that it won’t come back now that I’m past the three month adjustment.
The last side effect has been much less of a psycho-drama. My skin has steadily improved. Last time I said that I felt like I just needed to find a way to work with that and I think that giving up dairy was my answer. Some new blemishes are still popping up but they’re doing so at a much slower rate and are mostly healing. I still have scarring that is healing and, with my fair skin, it takes a long time for those to fade.
So, maybe the trials and tribulations are over. I don’t really know. I hope the next time I post an update on the it, I’ll be all sunshine and butterflies and sex.