I turned 40 last year, and got really tired of taking daily birth control pills for most of my adult life, especially when I was done having kids. My ob in Manila suggested that I get a copper IUD, but I had heard so many stories of IUD’s gone rogue. Copper IUD’s (vs. hormonal IUD’s) also typically make periods even heavier, which is something I definitely didn’t want living on a tropical beach year round! Furthermore not having access to good healthcare on our island, I didn’t want to take a chance in case something did go wrong with an IUD. I felt like birth control pills were my only decent option.

I mentioned in a previous post that a friend of mine runs a nonprofit organization here called Roots of Health focused on reproductive health. She suggested I get Implanon, a hormonal implant in my arm, and I don’t know why I never considered it before. Implanon releases a slow dosage of hormones that stops ovaries from releasing eggs, as well as thickens the cervical mucus so that it is difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. It lasts three years and is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The best part is that for many women their periods stop completely!

I went into Roots of Health so ready to put my birth control pill days behind me. A local anesthetic was injected into my upper left arm, and it stung a little, but I have no fear of needles so it wasn’t bad at all. After waiting a couple minutes for the anesthesia to take effect, the nurse showed me the device that would be used to inject the matchstick sized rod into my arm.




The white rod inside the needle is the implant. Yup that’s a pretty big needle, but you won’t feel it go in at all because of the anesthesia. Afterwards I had pretty bad bruising on my arm that lasted a week, though I wasn’t in any pain. I just bruise really, really easily.


It’s been a month and a half since I got the implant, and I haven’t noticed any side effects. Best of all… no period! My only regret is that I wish I had gotten this sooner!