I was going to continue to take the opportunity on Tuesdays to gush like an obnoxious middle school girl about my dear liebe herr, but after my uterus pretty much exploded due to the Implanon implant I havein my arm, I decided to side track a little bit and talk about that.
I tried really hard to wait it out, to let the side effects subside into some type of new normal, but I just couldn’t do it. Doctors kept telling me that it would get better with time; the Google kept telling me that it wouldn’t.
Things had seemed to mostly get better. I was managing the skin situation and my bleeding had stopped long enough that I had even worried about the possibility that my implant had failed. I bought a pregnancy test just to ease my mind. All was working and I was lucky enough to go almost two months without bleeding.
Just after I bought the test, though, I got my period. I feel like pregnancy tests are magic like that. Every time my period’s been late enough to make me feel a twinge of paranoia, which happened twice on a previous progesterone-only pill, I would take a pregnancy test and promptly get my period.
So, I wasn’t surprised when it was longer than usual, but it just didn’t stop. Every time I thought it was going to end it would suddenly get heavy again, sometimes very suddenly.
My boyfriend is really cool about talking about birth control and its effects on my body. He doesn’t get very squeamish about it. It’s something I really appreciate about him. Still, it’s really embarrassing when that sudden flow happens during sex, leaving a huge pool of blood. I was mortified when I discovered it after getting up to clean up and use the bathroom.
When he walked back in the bedroom after me, all he saw was me standing there with my hand over my mouth and a horrified look on my face. At first he thought I was in pain, I’d had really bad cramps over the last two weeks, and then he followed my eyes and saw it too.
I looked at him expecting him to be grossed out or angry. Instead, he just asked me if it would wash out. As unaffected as if we were just doing chores, he asked me to help him strip the sheets, and put on a new set while he put them in the washer.
Thank goodness for mattress covers!
We remade his bed, he asked me if I was okay, and then we went to sleep.
That was that.
Physically, I was fine. Emotionally, I was still embarrassed but floored at how kindly he had handled the situation.
The next day I seemed to have stopped bleeding again. When we went to bed, I didn’t take any precautions. I woke up in the middle of the night, though, and felt like something was wrong. I didn’t know what but something felt… off.
I laid there for a minute trying to decide why I had the feeling before I finally decided to get up and go to the bathroom to see if I had bled a little or something like that. Half way to the bathroom, though, blood started pouring down my legs and onto the floor. This wasn’t even menstrual like blood it was like I-think-I’ve-just-been-shot-in-the-vagina blood. I scrambled into the bathroom, starting to cry and leaving a trail of blood behind me, and sat down on the toilet to stop making a mess. It kept going for a few seconds or so and then stopped as quickly as it had started.
I had no idea what had just happened or how it had happened. I was just scared and embarrassed. After it stopped I got up to clean up the blood trail I had just felt behind me. Luckily, it had started just after I left the carpeted area so it was pretty easy to wipe up.
I cleaned myself up and put in a tampon, hoping that it would be enough to stop another gush of blood like that, and went back to bed. I promptly decided two things; I’d had enough of this implant and its side effects and that I was going to get it removed as soon as I’d completed my audition. Changes in hormones can have an effect on your voice and I didn’t want to risk it.
In hindsight, I should have been more worried about what had just happened than my audition.
I’d also planned to not tell my boyfriend because I didn’t want to worry him or gross him out, but it eventually came out during a fight fueled by my hormone induced instability, further solidifying both my decision to remove it promptly after my audition and my gratitude for this person that I’m with. Implanon had made me emotionally all over the place and he had been willing to ride out those waves with me.
So, exactly two days after we came back from Bellingham for my audition, I had it removed. Both my feelings or relief and the hormone withdrawals were immediate. The side effects of the removal were almost as brutal as the side effects of having it in. Granted, this time I could have cheese without breaking out so that made it a lot better.
Cheese is really good for morale.
My doctor and I decided that the best option for me, after all we had tried, was the non-hormonal IUD. He also suggested another doctor who was an expert at inserting them. I made an appointment for a consultation with her and, despite my plan to let my body get through the transition of removing hormones from my system; she suggested that I get it right away.
Knowing that I would need a ride home from the insertion, I’d already talked with my boyfriend about when would work best for him so I scheduled the appointment for the following Monday. My doctor, knowing about the last time I’d had an IUD and my fears of repeating that experience, gave me a prescription for Vicodin to help make the insertion and post-insertion cramping easier to manage.
It’s been kind of brutal on my body and even two weeks after insertion I’m not totally better yet but I’m getting through it and I’m finding out a lot about myself, my relationship, and my struggles with vulnerability through this. Mostly, I’m so glad that I’m not doing it alone.