My Experience Getting an Implanon

By Zulma R.

Zulma is a teen writer who is part of the Females Against Violence Education Group based in San Francisco. We asked this group to write about their thoughts on topics related to pregnancy, contraception, teen health, and teen rights. The thoughts below do not necessarily represent those of the National Center for Youth Law.

When I became sexually active my partner and I both talked about birth control, but I didn’t have the courage to actually go and get it. It was until we both got scared of the possibility of me being pregnant when I decided to talk to my doctor.

After I took a pregnancy test and the result was negative my doctor encouraged me to get birth control. She set me up an appointment for a teen clinic. After discussing the different forms of birth control I decided to get the Implanon.

The Implanon is a flexible implant about the size of a matchstick and is placed under the skin of the upper arm. It’s 99.9% effective and it lasts for 3 years. When I went to my appointment at the teen clinic I was asked to take another pregnancy test before we proceeded to get the Implanon just to double check.

Afterwards, the doctor gave me a room and talked to me about what the process will be like and informed me of other forms of birth control in case I didn’t want to get the Implanon. After I decided I wanted to go through with the implant, the doctor had me lie down on a hospital bed with my left arm spread. She then numbed my arm with an injection, which I thought was the most painful part of all the process. We waited for the effect a few minutes and after I was no longer able to feel anything the doctor inserted the implant on my arm through a thick needle. I did not feel a thing thanks to the injection but I still had to hold the doctor’s assistant’s hand.

After I removed the bandage from my arm the next day after getting the Implanon, I had a big bruise and it hurt a lot. My mom quickly noticed it and was really upset with me for not telling her. After a few days she began to understand me and everything was back to normal.

Everything was going great with my mom, but I had mood swings and bad cramping for the first 3 weeks after getting the implant. Today I no longer have any side effects and best of all my period is gone. I believe I made the best choice by deciding to get birth control because I am definitely not ready to be a mother and want to enjoy life without any worries.

You can learn about your right to access birth control by visiting the Birth Control section of our Legal Guide.