When I walked into Planned Parenthood the Summer before moving off to college, my mind was set on leaving with a packet of birth control pills — but after looking through a pamphlet detailing other methods of contraception, I decided on what seemed like a better option: the progestin-only birth control implant. If you’re unfamiliar, the implant is a thin, flexible device that’s inserted into your arm. It’s 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, and I loved that I wouldn’t have to remember to take a pill every day. The procedure was quick and near painless; I walked out of the clinic with the implant in my arm, feeling good that I would be fully protected for another few years.
Unfortunately, I found myself back in the waiting room six months later, perusing the same pamphlet as I awaited my appointment to have the implant removed. While many have found success with this form of birth control, I simply couldn’t deal with the side effects I experienced. These are the few that ultimately led me to switch methods. Everyone’s body will react differently, but it’s worth discussing them with your doctor.