By Alicia, TeenSource Contributor
This past summer, I decided that I wanted long term birth control because being safe about sex is great. I started reading up on the multiple methods and about the side effects of different LARCs (long acting reversible contraceptives). I wanted the easiest method, and I didn't want to worry about forgetting to taking pills or putting on a new patch frequently. I often heard about the bad side effects birth control can have, but none of the side effects I read about were severe, so I didn't feel worried about it.
After doing some research, I made the decision to get a Nexplanon implant. This implant is a small rod (about the size of a matchstick) that is inserted on the inner top part of your arm, and it works as a contraceptive for 3 years. The implant releases hormones which prevents pregnancy.
It was easy to call my local Planned Parenthood clinic and make an appointment. Then, when I went into the Planned Parenthood office to get the implant, my medical insurance covered my costs and kept my information confidential (check this page out for more info on how to make sure your visit is covered). The doctor went over the side effects with me one more time before placing in the implant. She mentioned that it was possible my period could disappear. To me, that sounded like a pretty good thing!
I was scared about the implant actually going under my skin, but the doctor used a needle and it took no more than a minute. It was quick, and became effective after the first week. You can't even notice it's there, only if you run your finger across it with pressure. During the first month, I did have a minor bruise on my arm and some spotting.
Now that I've had it for four months I am starting to notice small changes. I still have my period, but it's been lighter than normal and I don't ever feel bad cramps anymore. One major concern that my friends told me about was easily gaining weight, but I haven't gained weight because of it. I’ve learned that not everyone is the same and has the same side effects. Thankfully, the implant has been very effective for me. I personally love it, and think it's a great, easy, and effective LARC.