Aftereffects of getting Implanon removed?
November 22, 2018 8:04 PM   Subscribe

After under a year of being on Implanon, it turns out that it really doesn't work for me so I'm getting it removed. What can I expect (especially moodwise) afterwards?

I got Implanon for PMDD, after BC pills and the Nuvaring either didn't do much or made things worse. At first it was mostly fine, but in the last couple of months I suddenly had much more severe heavy bleeding happening more often, to the point of dizziness and general ill-health. Multiple doctors said it probably was the Implanon, but nobody would do anything for me until I saw the PMDD specialist (who kept bailing on me so the appointment kept getting delayed) to confirm. She agreed that the Implanon isn't working out for me, and could have taken it out then and there, but I decided to wait a couple of weeks until my appointment with the clinic that specifically put in my Implanon (they're part of the same hospital system) mainly so I can mentally prepare for it.

I'm very worried that I'll basically turn into a nutcase once the Implanon is out. My PMDD made me suicidal almost once a month like clockwork, and other hormonal options either fuck up my moods or my body. I also know that I can be difficult to handle on my lowest moods (I take everything too personally and panic very easily) and while I have been working on that a lot over the years, and recognise that my actions are my responsibility regardless of my health, I really don't look forward to inadvertently being unbearable to my loved ones just because my hormones are wonky. I am on psychiatric medication, which made it hard for the PMDD specialist to tell me what to expect.

(I'm not sexually active currently, and if i am it's usually with people that can't get me pregnant, so I'm not fussed about contraceptive matters.)

Will I become a nutcase? Should I just avoid my friends for a while so that I won't inflict them with my woes? Are there physical symptoms I should also be worried about or keep a lookout for? Will I be ok? What can I do to support myself better during a potentially volatile time?

(I'm also getting an ultrasound in a few days to see if I have anything like fibroids, which my mother has - my friends have been yelling at me about not getting that sooner, but it wasn't for lack of trying!)
posted by divabat to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
IANYOBGYN, however if the Nexplannon is working for your moods and it is just the bleeding that is bothersome, consider a non-hormonal medication to control the bleeding and leave well-enough alone with the hormones which seem balanced at this time. Scheduled NSAIDs or even better TXA (tranexamic acid, brand name lysteda in the US) may be able to control your breakthrough.
posted by eglenner at 9:53 PM on November 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I had over 4 Implanons in a row. I went off it because, after years and years and years of continuous hormone use, I was experiencing some hair loss. I don't recall any real side effects after I removed my implant for a final time, but I did tolerate the hormones extremely well. FWIW, anecdotally it seems like Implanon either makes your periods disappear or makes them much heavier - I basically didn't bleed at all during the time I was using Implanon.

I did, however, experience very heavy menstrual bleeding when I was on no birth control at all, and I can second Eglenner's advice. Based on the question I linked to I spoke to my doctor, who sent me for an ultrasound (all clear) and prescribed me tranexamic acid. Tranexamic acid was a game changer for my very heavy bleeding.

TL:DR; what Eglenner said. If Implanon is otherwise helping your moods, maybe you could try another solution to manage your very heavy bleeding?
posted by nerdfish at 2:10 AM on November 23, 2018

Please assume that taking out the Implanon is a decision I have come to after a lot of thinking, consulting, and consideration, including seeing its (relatively minimal) effect on my moods as well as other side effects. Advice along the lines of "keep it in longer" is unhelpful.
posted by divabat at 3:26 AM on November 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

(also I had a really weird experience on transexamic acid so I don't want to rely on them too much)
posted by divabat at 3:29 AM on November 23, 2018

The hell that is my vagina unleashed her fury in the six weeks following my nexplanon removal. It went totally fucking insane. Six week of alternating bleeding--one week on, one week off--so heavy it was pouring out of my vagina and onto my clothes, even though i had a menstrual cup in. My cervix also moved to god fucking knows where, so my menstrual cup would randomly move and blood would pour everywhere all at once. I got blood on my shirt at work and had to change, multiple times.

Luckily it resolved itself in a few weeks and I'm totally normal now. I had no huge mood changes so i can't speak to that aspect of it. My body also strongly disagreed with nexplanon and I had 4.5 months of nonstop bleeding before my vagina turned into niagara falls, so YMMV.

Your body may get crazy--try to be patient, try to take deep breaths, try to remember that whatever new hell may follow will end. Be kind to yourself. Bring a change of clothes when you go out--including a shirt.
posted by Amy93 at 6:36 PM on November 23, 2018

I felt extremely depressed when my nexplanon was due to be changed, and I felt like I couldn't trust my emotions at all. There was a lot of hysterical crying (i.e. laugh/screaming while crying uncontrollably). I couldn't tell you how long it lasted because I had a new one put in which fixed it.

I found it helpful to tell my friends that I was in the midst of a hormone storm and was having outsized reactions to everything. I have a dear friend that I could call when I was crying and she'd just tell me about her day and that was very soothing. It also didn't feel like a huge burden on her whereas asking her to listen to an emotional dump every day would have been.

Good luck! You will be ok. Take deep breaths and enjoy your friends however works for you.
posted by (Over) Thinking at 3:01 PM on November 24, 2018

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