So what is getting the contraceptive implant actually like? Does it hurt? Is there a needle? This is how it went down for me…in pictures!
I’m just going to start at the beginning of my appointment and let you know what happened step by step when I got my implant put in at SHQ
Firstly, this is what the clinic looks like when you first get to SHQ:
It’s a really nice waiting room and there’s even another smaller room where you can sit if you want more privacy. I didn’t take any photos of the actual clinic room because it looked just like any other doctor’s room (so I thought it’d be boring). But I did take a photo of the lovely Dr Nikki who I saw…her smiling face definitely made me less nervous!
SHQ is a training clinic, so that means qualified doctors or nurses who are learning extra skills like how to put in implants might be in your appointment as well. I had one in mine and she was really nice too.
So that’s enough on the clinic…what was the actual insertion like?? Well it was actually really quick (maybe 5 mins) and didn’t really hurt at all. The most painful bit was the anaesthetic injection – that stung a bit. Here’s what happened…
I laid down on the bed and put my arm up to the side and the doctor marked where she was going to insert it with a pen.
Then the doctor wiped my arm with some antibacterial stuff and I had the anaesthetic injection. It stung, but wasn’t that bad:
Next, she inserted the implant using a special applicator that is made specifically for it. It looks like a big stapler…but I couldn’t feel anything:
And that was literally it. It was in and done, and all I had was a tiny little opening where it went in. The cut is so small you don’t even need a stitch! Then the doctor wrapped a bandage around my arm that I had to leave on for 24 hours and I was good to go:
While I was there, I asked if I could get an STI test as well. It had been a while since my last test, and it was just super convenient because I was already there.
The whole process was really cruisy. The doctor took a sexual history, so I had to answer questions like how many sexual partners I’ve had recently; if my sexual partners were male, female or both; what kind of sex I’ve been having, so if I’d had oral, anal or vaginal sex; and if I’ve been using condoms. All the things they need to know to make sure I had the right tests.
I ended up getting tested for everything, so that meant I had to have some blood taken for blood tests and then I had to pee in a jar and take my own vaginal swab. The swab is like a big cotton bud and there were instructions on the wall in the toilet in case I forgot what the doctor had told me!
24 hours later…
The next day I took the bandage off and there was a decent bruise and it was tender, but not painful. The bruising went down within a week and it wasn’t sore at all after that.
2 months later…
I have absolutely loved my implant since I had it put in! I had consistent but light bleeding for about 10 days after I had it inserted, but since then I haven’t had any bleeding at all (not even spotting!).
For about the first week I felt like it might have been having an effect on my mood because I was a bit all over the place feeling really happy and then quite upset or angry. But that settled down after a week and I haven’t noticed any other side effects yet.
The implant is placed just under the skin, so I can feel it when I run my fingers over it, but it doesn’t hurt at all. The spot where the cut was to insert the implant is almost not visible now.
All in all, I am really, really happy with my decision. Everyone is different, but this has worked out best for me!
I’ll keep you all posted if anything changes.