Something dawned on me this week, in this country we definitely still have a taboo even though contraception has been legal for many years, many more than I have been alive in fact. It became legal in 1980 but it still isn’t talked about and is something people feel ashamed to bring up. So I’m bringing it up.
I am not a doctor, nurse or an expert in this field nor do I claim to be. This is a topic I’ve been interviewed for before because of my openness to talk about, I’ve educated myself about, and experienced in my own way. I am speaking from my own experiences and how I have seen friends experience it. If you do want further info, the Irish Family Planning Association is a great resource to read up and ask questions confidentially if need be, but also your local GP and/or nurse.
I have always kept an open mind and been very open about my choices. The way I see it is that knowledge is power, there are a lot more options than just condoms and/or the pill (in its many forms). The more we know the more informed choices we can make and better choices for our bodies and futures. Just this week I learned that condoms aren’t as effective as we think unless used with a spermicide (and not just in relation to them breaking or being used incorrectly).
The past 6 years I have used the contraceptive implant Implanon in two doses, each lasting 3 years. It is a small match size rod that is inserted into your upper arm under local anaesthetic. Many GPs provide this service now also meaning you don’t have to go out of your way but you can also attending a family planning clinic if you wish.
It is relatively expensive depending where you go but take into consideration that you are paying for up to 3 years of contraception up front, 3 years ago when I had my first implant removed and another inserted it cost €170 for the procedure and €144 (with a drugs scheme card) in total and it cost €120 this week to have it removed as a private patient. You can also avail of it if you have a medical card.
It suited me really well, not that I suffered too badly with periods before but they became virtually non existent while using Implanon & no other side effects occurred and having had it out for 3 days now I haven’t experienced any side effects. Early days of course as it takes 4-6 weeks for your body to “return to a normal cycle”. I do know it does vary from woman to woman and some women can experience heavy bleeding either at the beginning after insertion or even throughout but you won’t know until you give it a go.
Why don’t we talk about these everyday things and why do they still have such a taboo?! I’d love to know your thoughts and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!