Implants are very effective contraception
- they have very few health risks
- they last for 3 years
- they are completely reversible.
However one of the main problems experienced by women using the implant is irregular bleeding.
1/3 of women who have their implant removed early do so because of bleeding problems.
We do not know the exact cause of irregular bleeding on the implant. It may be caused by increased fragility of the surface blood vessels on the lining of the womb or by changes in natural hormones which are still present while on the implant.
It seems to me that the most annoying thing for women considering the implant is that we cannot predict who will get irregular bleeding and who will not.
A discussion was started on this forum yesterday:
Is it possible to have no bleeding with one implant and irregular bleeding with another?
I can see how frustrating this must be, but the truth is, our bodies can react to the same contraceptive or hormone in different ways over time.
The best thing to do when using any contraception, is ensure you have access to good information, advice and contraceptive services.
It is also good practice to exclude other possible causes of bleeding - just in case. So if you have unexpected bleeding then you should do a test for sexually transmitted infection, a pregnancy test and make sure that you are up to date with your smear tests.
I believe that if women know they can have the implant removed if it is causing problems, then they are more likely to give it a try.
Also, if they know irregular bleeding is fairly common, then they may be less worried when it occurs.
Thirdly, if they know there are some treatments available for irregular bleeding, then that may also be reassuring.
So what I am trying to get at is, keep asking questions, and be patient when trying to find the right method for you, and know that this may well change over time too.