Birth Control: Nexplanon Update

What is the Nexplanon?NEXPLANON is the small, thin and flexible arm implant that provides up to 3 years of continuous birth control.That’s why NEXPLANON is considered a long-acting birth control option. It’s placed discreetly under the skin of your inner, upper arm by your health care provider. It’s also reversible and can be removed by your health care provider at any time during the 3 year period…Hormones in birth control stop an egg from being released by your ovary and also prevent sperm from reaching the egg. NEXPLANON puts a steady, low dose of hormone into your bloodstream. NEXPLANON works for up to 3 years to prevent pregnancy.”

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*This photo was taken 6 days after implantation

My fall semester of my sophomore year of college I decided I wanted to get the implant, for my lifestyle this seemed better than the pill because I didn’t need to remember to take anything. On November 13, 2015, I had the Nexplanon implanted into my right arm. My doctor used a local anesthetic so the (mini) procedure wasn’t painful at all, but my arm was sore for about a week. I had her put it in my right arm because I’m a lefty, so getting shots and getting blood taken out my right arm is preferred.

They told me that I might spot for a week or two after receiving the implant, and I did. Then for about 4 months, I didn’t get my period which was amazing! But then I started to bleed all the time, for like 2 weeks at a time.  I talked to my doctor and asked if this was normal and if it would go away. The bleeding was SUPER annoying and inconvenient. I debated on getting it removed, that’s how long I had to deal with it. I made an appointment to have the implant removed by my doctor and when I arrived she recommended that I take the birth control pill, in addition to having the implant, to control the bleeding. I was really annoyed because I got the implant so I wouldn’t need to take the pill. But because the implant is 99% effective and the birth control pill is less than 90% effective I decided to keep both.

So now, I take my birth control pills daily and skip the sugar week and just continue onto the next pack, I usually get a light period once every 3 months or so, but I think that’s just my body regulating itself.

I know other girls that had great success with the implant, but I personally have not.

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Best Brith Control and Period Tracker Apps

1. Eve: This is the app that I currently use. I prefer the look of this app, the log has a lot of great options, also there is an awesome community where you can ask and answer questions, or just make friends. There is a reminder setting to take your birth control and to log your health. Every day when you log your health and press done little really helpful insights will show up to help you understand your cycle. It has a list view or a calendar view so you can visualize your cycle and how your body has been feeling. You can add a password or fingerprint to this app. This app is free but does have a Premium option where you can take more quizzes (but that’s not relevant to my needs)

2. Spot On by Planned Parenthood
This app looks nice, there is a health log portion where you enter your mood, how your body feels, what sort of activity you’ve done, and if you have your period and the flow you’re experiencing. This app has reminders to take your birth control, when your period is coming, and to log your health. The alternative views are sort of weird, I prefer the day by day view, the other view is a really long list that shows every single symptom whether you experienced it or not and has a number of how many times that week you felt that way, not my cup of tea but I like the other features of the app. There isn’t a community part of this app but there are a lot of resources from Planned Parenthood on the app. I do not think there is a passcode on this app

3. Bedsider 
This is just a reminder app, you don’t log anything into this app. You set a reminder time and it’ll send you either a clever, discrete, or customized reminder to take your birth control. I would recommend this if you’re not really concerned about tracking your cycle and just need help remembering to take your birth control

4. Flo
This app has different categories to log than Eve. This app asks for your weight, how much you slept, what you ate (but you cannot log in this app, you need to import from another app), and it tracks how many steps you’ve taken. Asks if you’ve worked out and how much water you’ve had. Everything else is fairly similar to the Eve app. This app lacks the community aspect. There are tons of different reminders in this app. You can also add a passcode or fingerprint for this app.