Advice

What it’s like to get the implant

There's nothing to fear when it comes to alternative contraception

By Maria Mellor

There are so many different kinds of contraceptives: condoms, pills, injections. They all have their pros and cons and each one might be better for different people. I personally have tried a few methods and I’m incredibly happy with my current birth control – the implant.

The condom only lasts for one use. The pill lasts for one day. Alternatively the implant lasts for three years. It’s a matchstick-sized device that slowly gets placed under the skin on your upper arm. Doctors are very keen about it because of it’s practically fool proof when put in properly. You don’t have to worry about getting pregnant. No missed pills and no broken condoms!

I got mine at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary on Newport Road. They have a sexual health clinic for young people where you can discuss your options and get free birth control. The whole process took probably under an hour including the waiting time and it’s all incredibly respectful and non-judgemental.

I was taken in by a nurse who was very pleased about my decision to get the implant. She got me to lie down on a bed with my arm out and then injected me with local anesthetic on the inside of my arm, halfway between the elbow and the armpit. I looked away while she was doing everything as I am fairly squeamish when it comes to this sort of thing.

The nurse was very understanding and let me know what was happening before she did it. She made a tiny incision, poked the implant in and bish bash bosh, it was done! She bandaged me up and sent me on my way.

There are obvious downsides to the implant. It’s not for the faint-hearted with the whole procedure it takes to put it in and take it out again. You’re left feeling a little sore afterwards for a few days and for the whole time it’s in you can feel it under your skin.

I have a tiny scar now but in my opinion it’s worth it. I would spend so much money on condoms and pregnancy tests, but now I hardly need to worry. It doesn’t protect you from STIs but if you’re in a long term relationship it could be so much better for you than more common contraceptives.

The Royal Infirmary clinic also does quick and easy STI tests if you or your partner wants to get tested.

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