Let's Talk About Contraception



Bloggers talk about everything from depression to Dubai to designer shoes, but when it comes to periods and contraception, the blogosphere is relatively quiet. Whether it's a case of me missing these posts or we as bloggers shying away from the one topic that undoubtedly affects us all, I decided I would do my lil' bit to bolster the conversation.

I always find contraception is a tricky subject. For a long, long time I wasn't using any contraception other than the pull-out method (with someone I knew was STI free, it's important to note). Obviously I wouldn't recommend this because it can so easily go wrong, but I was very careful and I never once had a serious pregnancy scare. My periods have always been pretty irregular anyway and I never kept a diary of when they were meant to come, so when one did turn up, it was like, 'Hey! Yeah! You're foetus free!'. That being said, the pull-out method is not only super risky, it's also seriously unromantic. Nothing ruins a good sesh more than someone pulling out and saying: 'Where shall I cum?' *NOT*IN*MY*HAIR*

Last Winter I decided it was finally time to sort my contraception out; I started browsing the web in search of people's experiences with various forms of contraception, trying to weigh up the pros and cons of all the different options. This is one of the main reasons I wanted to do this post - it was so hard to find a review or an individual experience that isn't posted on some obscure or un-relatable forum, and I would have loved to have read something from another blogger's perspective.

After completing a ton of quizzes and knowing that I didn't want to take the pill, I decided to opt for the contraceptive injection. My mum used to get the contraceptive injection regularly when she was younger, and I even remember going to the surgery with her and seeing her get injected in the butt- cheek (ahh, the good old days). She had a really great experience with it and I liked the idea of only having to pop to the clinic for ten minutes every three months, so I went ahead and had the injection in my upper right thigh. It wasn't very painful at all - just a slight scratch and a brief sharp sting as she squeezed in the hormones, but it was over really quickly and I was on my way.

Whilst I was having my consultation my doctor did warn me that the injection is the only contraception that has tangible evidence linking it to weight gain. I'd voiced this concern to my Mum, but she said she'd never been skinnier than when she was having the injection, so I thought 'fuck it'. However, I wasn't so lucky. I've hated the contraceptive injection (bar not having to worry about protection whatsoever for three months). I have gained 6kg in 12 weeks, had sporadic bleeding and spotting and suffered with nausea and breast tenderness. At this point it is worth saying that other than the weight gain symptoms do settle down as the months go on, but still, I did not like.

Having decided that I definitely didn't want the repeated injection, I sat down with the doctor at the clinic today to discuss my other options. Whilst the pill was an available form, I don't trust myself to not get too pissed, throw up and then drunkenly trying to engage in a late night shag (if you throw up it doesn't work, just in case you didn't know!). I decided to opt for the contraceptive implant. The implant has no evidential links to weight gain and whilst my periods might still be a bit crazy, as long as I don't get any fucking chubbier, I'll be a happy girl.

The procedure for the implant is as follows: your nurse or doctor will sterilise the upper under-arm of your non-writing arm with antibacterial spray/wipes, inject you with local anaesthetic, make a small incision and then slide the thin plastic rod up under your skin. The implant then works for three years, after which you can choose to have it removed and replaced, or just removed completely (you can have it removed in the meantime if you don't like it). After the super short procedure a plaster is placed on the puncture site and your arm is bandaged to help diminish the inevitable bruising to come.

It doesn't really hurt - again, a brief scratch and a bit of a shitty feeling when the implant is pushed under your skin, but once it's over you forget about it. I only got mine put in today so my arm is still sore, but the whole thing should be healed up within 5 days. Obviously I haven't had time to experience any positive or negative effects yet, but I'll be sure to get back to you as the days go on and I do or do not feel them.

And now I'm genuinely interested in hearing your contraception stories - what do you use? What hasn't worked for you? What have you loved and hated? Tweet me @chloeplumstead, Insta DM me @chloeplumstead or comment down below and let me know! Sharing is caring guys!

32 comments

  1. This was so interesting to read! I love to read real life blog posts like this, and so many people steer clear from talking about periods and contraception and whatnot. I've been taking various pills for about 6 years and everytime I've taken them they've been fab for a year and then I started getting awful side effects caused by it (weird I know). I've always been way too scared to get the injection/implant because I liked controlling my periods (they're super painful). ATM I'm currently on nothing and sticking to good ol' condoms with my boyf (or pull out method if the situation arises)...

    Robyn / Phases Of Robyn

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  2. Loved this, you never read things like this anywhere!

    I was on the pill for 3years, it made me gain a ton of weight and my skin was super shitty! If I'm honest I hated it my periods were random and an icky brown which scared the hell out of me. Atm I'm nothing so my body can regulate itself

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  3. I was on the pill for YEARS before I realised how dangerous it could be for me and decided to flat out stop taking it. This was after I got together with my boyfriend though, who is very good with the ol' unromantic condom. I considered the coil but had heard a total nightmare story from a friend and now can't even comprehend it. I can't even consider the injection because uni has already made me gain like two extra stomachs and arses so I'll be interested to see how the implant works out for you! Hope it goes well, otherwise I think I'll end up back on the pill. (I sound very negative but I am forever grateful to the pill for finally revealing my boobs at the nice old age of 17)

    Becca / www.becloumar.com

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  4. Yes to this post! So refreshingly honest. I've been on the pill for 6/7 years and been really lucky with it - clearer skin and no weight gain or hormonal mood swings. Made my periods regular and relatively light too.

    I hope the implant works well for you - it's reading experiences like yours that I'm grateful for being lucky with my first choice of contraceptive. X

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  5. Yes to this post! So refreshingly honest. I've been on the pill for 6/7 years and been really lucky with it - clearer skin and no weight gain or hormonal mood swings. Made my periods regular and relatively light too.

    I hope the implant works well for you - it's reading experiences like yours that I'm grateful for being lucky with my first choice of contraceptive. X

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    Replies
    1. Which pill do you take?! I want it haha!xx

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  6. Yes! I really wish more bloggers would talk about this. I currently don't use any form of contraception, but I'm not sexually active. However, I've got horrible periods, and I've been trying to find information about contraceptives from individuals instead of companies. Seriously, go you, and thank you!

    Amber | y a c h t s m a a n

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  7. I loved this post because for me it seemed that the pill was the only option. I went on it and gained so much weight, felt really sad all the time and it just made me change as a person but I kept on it because it was just easier than going to the doctor and getting it changed. Now that I broke up with my boyfriend and there is no need for the pill I stopped taking it and I feel like my old self again. It's a strange one, I'm sure if I changed pill I would have had a better experience but I'll know for next time! Thanks for this post, it really highlighted a topic that bloggers don't really discuss :)

    Michelle x

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  8. I loved this post because for me it seemed that the pill was the only option. I went on it and gained so much weight, felt really sad all the time and it just made me change as a person but I kept on it because it was just easier than going to the doctor and getting it changed. Now that I broke up with my boyfriend and there is no need for the pill I stopped taking it and I feel like my old self again. It's a strange one, I'm sure if I changed pill I would have had a better experience but I'll know for next time! Thanks for this post, it really highlighted a topic that bloggers don't really discuss :)

    Michelle x

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  9. I've only used the pill, but I started feeling really nauseous taking them. It was more of a psychological kind of nausea than the actual pill. The idea of taking the pill just made me want to throw up and I just didn't want to do it anymore. I used to also do the pull-out method, and still do sometimes to this day, which really isn't a great idea. I've been wondering which other methods would best suit me and I have been curious about the method you most recently tried. It sounds scary just because there's some sort of incision going on, but I guess I'll have to consult with my doctor to see!

    http://www.fionnac.com

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  10. I've thought about getting the implant but I don't think I could do it. The thought of something sittingf under my skin grosses me out too much, I think I would be thinking about it there constantly aha. I've been on the pill for around 3 years now, and honestly I love it - if anything when I first started taking it it made me lose weight and cleared my skin up. The only negative for me is that it is really easy to forget to take but there are loads of apps to help you remember to take it. Also, about the throwing up thing, it's fine after two hours of taking it, and if it's within the two hours you can just take another one :). This was a really great post, I've read a couple of posts on contraception but you're right, there really isn't enough!

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

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  11. I love this post! I completely agree that there's not enough posts out there about this and I find it great to read personal experiences. I was on the pill for about a year and it just made me bloated and my skin was terrible, I just felt awful. I'm currently not using anything other than condoms but might look more into the implant! Thanks for sharing!

    heart-autumn.blogspot.co.uk

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  12. I am really surprised by the lack of information women have on contraception. Never be afraid to book an appointment to discuss it at a local sexual health clinic. They will clear up any worries or concerns and find the right method for you. Anyone looking for new form of contraception definitely consider the non-hormonal coil (copper IUD coil). It has really worked for me. It lasts 10 years and can be taken out at any time. Getting it fitted is pretty quick and there is a slight discomfort for a day or so but you never have to think about contraception again until you want to try for a baby. Plus you won't be pumping your body with hormones which can affect your mood, skin and weight. I know it sounds scary but it really is fine. The whole "pull out" method can still get you pregnant as men produce pre-sperm so do not rely on that. With regards to the pill, it will only not work if you throw up within 2 hours of taking it so drunken sickies aren't going to effect it.

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  13. It's such a shame the injection wasn't for you, I get it myself, at first I had random spotting and bleeding but now my periods have completely stopped and I have no issues. Before this I was on the pill but my periods were so painful and my skin was bad so I decided to go on the injection. The only thing that worries me is that it's recommended not to be on it for too long, but how long is too long? It can also make it difficult to conceive when coming off the injection and although I'm young, in years to come it will be a worry for me but right now it works very well for my lifestyle.

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  14. I am super squeamish when it comes to needles. Even reading this made me feel super uncomfortable. In an ideal world, I would opt for the implant because of how easy it is, but I just wouldn't be able to make myself go through with it! I've been on the pill since I was sixteen (I'm twenty-two this year), and have had so many different experiences with it. I've been on five or six different versions of the pill, and they all seem to have varying 'side effects.' The first one I ever took increased my appetite and made me put on weight. Others have given me horrendous stomach aches. I had to stop taking the 21 day pills, as they didn't work for me since I always forgot to continue taking them after the seven day break. As a result, I've now been on the 28 day progesterone only pill for a couple of years. I don't get any weight gain or mood swings on this, but I have had a dramatic decrease in my sex drive and it feels like I'm on my period all the bloody time (pardon the pun, there!). I'm going to talk to my nurse about going back on the 21 day pill, since I'm now older and more mature; I think I realise now what's at stake xx

    Laura | Lala London: Beauty & Lifestyle

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  15. I used to have the implant and it was the worst for me. I had such a terrible reaction to it and was basically on my period for three weeks and off for one for the 10 months I had it a.k.a hell. It also made me put weight on and made me so spotty! The pill is something I get along with but it does make me have awful mood swings but it's the best out of them for me! Hope the implant works for you - my friend has it and hasn't had a period for three years!

    p.s. you're such a sasspot for writing this post - love u

    www.saltandchic.com

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  16. I love that you've been so honest with this post! I've been on the pill for a little while and it's had its ups and downs to be honest. I've recently changed from one pill to another (around Christmas town) as my periods were mental. I had a period for almost 3-4 months constantly which was hell, PMS constantly and just feeling crappy all over. Although, now my pill has been changed I'm a lot happier and so far my periods haven't been too irregular, but I'm still not 100% happy with it. I just don't like the idea of having the coil or anything, but potentially the implant!

    Emily // Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

    xx

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  17. Not to put you off...but I had the implant and it royally fucked up my periods - like constant period for months and it took over two years after having it removed for things to sort themselves out. Now I'm on a progesterone only pill that has stopped my periods (yay) but I'm pretty sure it'd giving me spots (boo). Can't bloody win! Haha x

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  18. Not to put you off...but I had the implant and it royally fucked up my periods - like constant period for months and it took over two years after having it removed for things to sort themselves out. Now I'm on a progesterone only pill that has stopped my periods (yay) but I'm pretty sure it'd giving me spots (boo). Can't bloody win! Haha x

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  19. Love this blog post! So real and a genuine topic that needs to be spoken about more! I have been on the implant for over a year now and to say it hasn't been difficult is an understatement but overall I am happy with this contraception. It has changed my periods dramatically, from 6 months of none and then on and off every two weeks for another 6. It has been all over the place. But it really has made me feel more confident as a young lady to have a sexual relationship without worrying about becoming a young mum.

    However, it has made my acne worse, well it has been up and down really! but I suppose it varies with different people!

    Main thing I like is the fact that you don't have the worry of forgetting whether you took the pill today or not. Aha.

    Good luck! x www.nowardrobespace.blogspot.co.uk

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  20. I had the implant for 3 years and it was the worst experience, but I know so many people who have it and have no problems whatsoever, so I guess I was the 1 in 10! I would be on my period for 3 out of 4 weeks but it would be so light and I would have the worst period pains - I was basically moody 24/7! I've just had it removed (both the insertion and removal process quick and pain free) and had the injection, 1 month in and will be due for my next in 2 months. I have gained weight but I'm not sure if it's because of the ridiculous amount of chocolate and maccies I have eaten this month (fuck you McDonald's monopoly)! Hopefully it works for you. There needs to be more information for women on contraception - it shouldn't be a taboo subject x

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  21. Loved this post Chloe! I have an IUD (think that's the right way to spell it), the coil. The hormonal one, not the copper one. It's been incredible. Bit uncomfortable to have inserted of course but lasts 5 years (had it for 1 and a half so far) and I haven't experienced any bad side effects at all, and as a mega bonus, little to no periods! I'd recommend it x

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  22. I absolutely love you for writing this post, it's so honest!! Why don't us women talk about contraception more?
    I'm currently on the pill and have been for just over two years. I went through three different brands before I finally settled because my boobs were incredibly sore. Someone once accidently bumped into to me (barely even touched me) in the street and my boobs hurt like hell.
    I've not had any problems with my currently pill, I'm pretty sure I haven't put on any weight and I know exactly when my period will happen every month.

    Jaye x

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  23. Love this, so refreshing to read! I'm super lucky that I went straight into cerazette which is apparently the most expensive pill, but it was also the only one I could go on as my family has a history of blood clots so I wasn't allowed on any other! Ive been on it for 4 years and had no side effects - I must admit I'm pretty shit at taking it sometimes! It was crazy to hear my friends say that they have had awful experiences with certain pills, injections, etc, I guess you just have to find what works for you! I also haven't had a period for 4 years which is great but also pretty scary haha! Lord help the day I have one! X

    www.stylepetal.co.uk

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  24. I have the non-hormonal IUD (or copper coil, as it's otherwise known) and it's the best thing I ever did. No hormones, so no messing with my weight and making me cray, my periods are like clockwork and although there are horror stories out there.... aren't there with everything? This is my second coil and I swear by it. You have a few months of heavy periods in the beginning, but it regulates and you're left with the most convenient-don't-even-need-to-think-about-it method of contraception ever.

    Well done on this post btw, it's refreshing to read honesty and real-life when so many bloggers have started to portray themselves as walking ads for whatever brand they're collaborating with! x

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  25. I used withdrawal for a couple of years too (again with an STI-free guy) and I agree with you - it was TOTALLY unromantic! I've been on the pill for a few years now and it's made me gain a tonne of weight which I'm finding really hard to shift despite going to the gym and eating well. I've found that they have to move you on to different pills a lot of the time because they don't work well, so I'm thinking of moving off of this one to something different soon too.

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

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  26. It's great that you're talking about such an important topic! So important to be educated. I was on the pill for about 6 years, but once I got married I switched to an IUD. I love it! Super painful to get, but I'd definitely say it's worth it.

    Kim
    http://bit.ly/23Bj9YM … a new take on a pencil skirt!

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  27. Really loved this post, really proud that you picked a taboo subject! Great post x

    Millie x
    queenmillie.blogspot.com

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  28. This was such a great read and I loved how real you were in it - it was like having a gossip with a girlfriend! I'm really glad you wrote about this as well, it's a really great message to get out there and this is a method I feel a lot of people don't know a lot about! I was using the pill for some time, but stopped and I've been wondering what to try next.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

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  29. Loved this post! Personally I'm on the nuvaring and I love it! Very easy to use and I can regulate my period with it. I am however planning to transition to a non-hormonal method soon as they seem to have less risks of developing blood clots and whatnot..

    styledbykristiana.com

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  30. There's such a lack of aknowledge about contraception, it's insane.
    I first took the pill when I was 16 and it was working, no bad reaction, no gain weight, no spots, it was all good, but I was on Meliane and there was a lot of health issues about 3rd generation pills around early 2010s so when I was 22 I decided I needed to change it because I was afraid of what it could do to me. This was my worst decision !
    My "new" one is not right for me, I gained a lot of weight (also because of Hashimoto, thyroid disease - which I got around the pill switch, but I don't think it's related), I got skin pigmentation problems, no more libido, mood that goes up and down... It changed me, how I am, how I feel. Now, I don't always have my periods.
    I want to switch it for another way of contraception, even going back to meliane or simply stopping it since I'm single but I fear I will gain more weight, and get more bad reactions.

    I've heard so many bad stories about implants, I hope you will read my comment: I'd like you to review it in a few months so I can read your experience on it.

    http://i-think-its-today.blogspot.com/

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  31. I loved this post! I have battled with contraception for almost 4 years now, I have tried everything and I mean everything! I am now using the patch and have never been happier ☺️ xo

    Mollie / www.molliemanning.co.uk

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