If the implant is new to you (that means 6 months or less) and the side effects are bearable, give it a little more time—hormone levels will start to level off, so those hormonal side effects tend to go away.
I'm using the implant. Are the side effects like feeling moody, bloated, and nervous going to go away?
Will birth control make me gain weight?
Most methods will not cause weight gain. Many young women are starting birth control for the first time while their body is going through many other changes. Some women gain weight naturally when transitioning from their teens into their twenties. If that happens to be when a woman starts birth control, it’s easy to put the blame on the pill, patch, the implant, the hormonal IUD, or ring. The truth is each of these methods can be used without an expected weight gain. A recent study showed about 1 in 4 women who use the shot will gain some weight. However, the majority of women (3 out of 4) don’t gain much weight. So most women using the shot are able to keep their weight steady with healthy eating and regular exercise.
It seems like every birth control has side effects. Is it really worth it?
Any medicine has some side effects, but when people hear the negative stuff, it sticks in their brain like a cheesy old song you can’t stop humming. That’s just human nature, and it happens to all of us.
Remember that drug companies list every single scary thing you could possibly experience with a medication. Even if it’s super rare. They have to. It’s the law. So before you run for the hills, consider this: the potential side effects of something as harmless as aspirin are pretty scary when you read them, too. Birth control is definitely worth it if you aren’t ready to have a baby. Trust us, pregnancy has more side effects than we can count. There are so many different birth control methods that there’s something for everyone.
Will the implant show?
No, but you can feel it if you press on your arm where it was inserted. And if others are looking at that part of your arm while you’re doing the pressing, they might see it, too. As long as you’re not drawing attention to it, no one else should see that it’s there.
Want to learn more?
What if I get the implant and I don’t like it?
Give it a few months at least (6 months, if you can). But if you really hate it, you can get it removed. You just need to make an appointment.
Want to learn more?
What are good methods for women with high blood pressure?
For women with high blood pressure, methods with estrogen–the pill (except for the mini-pill), the ring, and the patch–may make their blood pressure even higher, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Fortunately there are lots of highly effective birth control options that are safe and estrogen-free like the IUD, the implant, or the shot. Talk to your doctor about your condition and what birth control is best for you.
How effective is the implant at preventing pregnancy?
The implant is extremely effective at preventing pregnancy—as in over 99% effective.
In other words:
Fewer than 1 in 100 women will experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year of using the implant.
Want to learn more?
Does it hurt to get the implant removed?
Just like when it’s put in, your arm gets numbed before the implant is taken out. But that’s the worst part and the whole thing usually only takes a couple minutes.
Does it hurt to get the implant?
You get an injection of numbing medicine through a small needle—that’s usually the worst part. Then your health care provider inserts the implant in your arm, which only takes a few minutes. That area of your arm may be sore and bruised for a couple days. Generally speaking, no big deal.
Which birth control method will help reduce my cramps?
Most women who use hormonal birth control–the pill, the ring, the shot, the patch, the implant, or a hormonal IUD–will have less painful periods than those who don’t. This is because these methods of birth control make the lining of the uterus thinner. There’s less tissue in the uterus to shed, so periods are lighter. One special note on the implant and the shot: for some women, these methods cause more days of spotting or bleeding, but periods become lighter and less painful overall.
Is it safe to lose blood by spotting a lot?
Spotting, which can happen with a bunch of different methods, doesn’t make you lose that much blood, even though it might seem like it. We have a Provider Perspective article about it if you want to learn more.
What are the best methods to use if I don't want to have my period?
The Mirena IUD, the shot, and the implant have all been shown to reduce menstrual bleeding for most women. You can also use the pill or the ring continuously to intentionally skip your period.
Heat up your weekends with our best sex tips and so much more.