After getting the contraceptive implant, my doctor told me to 'just bear with' the serious mental health side effects

Two months ago I had the contraceptive implant inserted into my left arm; I’ve not felt like myself since

Aimee Jack
Wednesday 02 November 2016 14:55
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A male contraceptive jab which lowers sperm count has proved 96 per cent effective in a new study
A male contraceptive jab which lowers sperm count has proved 96 per cent effective in a new study

Like the 20 men who backed out of a recent study over the side effects caused by the injected male contraceptive, I too regret my participation in the search for the ideal birth control.

Two months ago I had the contraceptive implant inserted into my left arm; I’ve not felt like myself since. I’ve been assured that my body will adjust – but the side effects are unbearable.

“Just bear with it and give yourself a couple of months for your body to level out,” the nurse advised me when I first called to explain that a month after having the implant inserted I had developed serious mood swings. I took the nurse’s advice but when I cried hysterically one morning, just moments before leaving for work, for no apparent reason, I knew something was wrong. Since then my temperament fluctuates constantly and I’m becoming fixated on dark thoughts.

Male Contraception - Sperm switch

If I’m not crying, I’ll definitely be bleeding. Determined to ruin every single pair of pants I own by managing to catch me off guard, spotting is the other major side effect I’ve faced since having the implant inserted. It’s expected that the menstrual cycle will change when on hormonal contraception but it should level out after a few months – two months in, I’m still waiting for it to stabilise.

I waved goodbye to any remaining self-esteem too. Soon after having the implant inserted my libido diminished and my confidence has been left in tatters. There’s one side effect you won’t find on any contraceptive packaging: Inadequacy. I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years and couldn’t be happier and although he’s wonderfully supportive I know all my side effects are having a huge effect on him too.

“We’ll only try to persuade you to keep it,” the doctor admitted to me when I decided enough was enough earlier on this week and spoke to her about having it removed. Instead of listening to my concerns the doctor defended the implant when I asked for it to be removed: Only after a full consultation would I be able to have the implant removed. For the doctor an unwanted pregnancy is of more concern than my own wellbeing. Shouldn’t this be my decision to make?

You just have to live with it some say, but for women (and men evidently) such as myself, being on hormonal contraceptive isn’t much of a life. We should all - men and women - be able to decide on a method of birth control that suits us, and not told to put up and shut up when it comes to our bodies. And most importantly, as this study has highlighted, we need to know the full facts, so that we know exactly what we are letting out bodies in for.

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