15 years of Contraception – My own Tale.

I remember it as clear as anything.

The day I got my period for the very first time.

I was in year 9 (so 14), and just before I left for school I went to the toilet and there it was. Spots of blood in my knickers. I screamed out for mum and mum came to tell me ‘it was here! It’s ok, it’s exciting’ and she came back with what I remember at the time felt and looked like a nappy. It was a pad of course, and I was told this was my new normal for 5-7 days a month.

I got to school and had Home Economics (sewing) first up and remember SO excitedly telling my girlfriends that I had (finally) gotten my period!!! I say finally because I felt like SUCH a late bloomer. All of my girlfriends had gotten their periods around 12 – 13 and I was the last one to get it.

I felt like such a WOMAN and was genuinely excited about it all.

And then, just.like.that I was put on the contraceptive pill. I think it was for a multitude of reasons, the main one I am sure was that ALL of my girlfriends were on it and I know I was saying to mum I HAD to be on it too, and to be honest, looking back, it was just the absolute ‘done’ thing ‘back in those days’, as a young girl, you got your period, you went on the pill.

And that was that.

Off I went on this new journey to woman hood – not really having any understanding WHY I was bleeding once a month just that if I got my period it meant I wasn’t pregnant, if I didn’t get it, it meant I was. Now, I am sure I did listen harder in health class and I DID pass the class with an A, its just periods weren’t something we cared about at 14 years of age).

That relationship with the pill and I went on for 5 years and I never really had any problems with it. Obviously as I got older and in to boys and partying I would skip the sugar pills every so often to ‘skip my period’ not thinking another thought about it.

I truly had absolutely ZERO relationship with my body and her cycles and to be fair, neither did anyone around me. We were young, on the pill and didn’t know any better.

To be fair here as well, I should mention that it probably WAS a good thing I was on the pill and I don’t regret for a second going on it so young. Being a young woman with minimal to no respect for myself or my body and the decisions that go along with it I am glad I had something looking out for me when I couldn’t make smart decisions for myself.

5 years went by on the pill without any hiccups or symptoms. I was regular with my period, I had no skin issues, I don’t feel like my moods were any different – than what a normal adolescent hormonal woman’s are.

Then at 19, Morgan and I (after already being in each others lives for 2 years prior) got in to a relationship. I became his and he became mine and the rules just changed a little bit. What I mean by that is sex was absolutely going to be more regular and on going and we BOTH didn’t trust the pill enough.

{ For your viewing pleasure. At 19 & 23 years old, 6 months in to our relationship }

So back to the Dr I went (Morgan in tow – I was like I may be the one who has to be responsible for the contraceptive but you can freaking be a part of it also!) with a whole load of information I had around different forms of contraception. I can’t say that at 19 I still had this body self love and self respect thing worked out (because I absoltuley didn’t – it was probably when I became the worst at looking after myself) but one thing I DID start to have was more of a thirst for knowledge around what I WAS going to put in my body.

And that was the first sign intuitively I got from my body. I KNOW that for a fact.

Here’s why – because I started to question Contraception.

At that stage, I had only been on the pill, and it had “only” been 5 years, but at 19, knowing as a woman I DID want babies eventually, AND being in a relationship with a man I already loved deeply, I just started to question and have concerns around long term effects of contraception on my body.

I had narrowed my search down to 2 alternative choices.

  1. The needle jab you could get that lasted a few years and stopped your periods.
  2. The Implanon.

Both seemingly seemed to be the most foolproof non baby makers for 2 regular sexually active and in love people and seemed to have the LEAST amount of symptoms or negative things to say about them (online anyway).

So imagine my surprise when my (amazing) female Dr told me ethically and morally she would never and could never give me the needle jab – she said in her professional opinion it shouldn’t even be an option for women and it absolutely has far too many side affects and even non explored potential issues.

I immediately took the needle jab off the table, but immediately had an uneasy feeling in my stomach – like what the actual fuck are us women doing to our bodies if a medical professional is saying they refuse to give me a form of contraception that was extremely readily available.

So my last option was the implanon, to which my Dr WAS a fan of and told me it has a 99.99% success rate if our goal was to be on a healthier form of contraception but I had to know it would have 1 of 4 ‘effects’ on my body and they were;

  1. Everything would in fact stay normal. I just couldn’t fall pregnant but my ‘fake’ period essentially would come every month, same time, same heaviness / lightness.
  2. My period would become a lot heavier – but for less days.
  3. My period would just become lighter.
  4. I would get no period.

She also said I had to at LEAST give it 3 whole months to settle. This bad boy lasts up to 3 years, so 3 months you have to give it to see IF your body sort of accepts it and after that if it’s not vibing for sure take it out – but not before.

I said ok, and in it went.

And for 3 months, 3.whole.months… I spotted. It was emotionally and physically draining AF. I didn’t feel too crazy mood wise and my skin didn’t break out like some women’s does, but the spotting was relentless. Which I KNEW wasn’t normal but I trusted my Dr and her words of “give it 3 months”.

Then on day 91 – so literally, LITERALLY 3 months and 1 day, I woke up and I wasn’t spotting any more. So I decided my body was ok with this form of contraception and in it stayed.

For the next 3 years, I stayed relatively normal with my periods, they just weren’t at all like clockwork like I was used to on the pill, but I was ok with that.

The 3 years seemed to pass by quickly and Morgs and I didn’t have so much as a tiny ‘scare’, so when the time came to get it out with its 3 year expiry, the decision was a simple one for me to just get one put straight back in. I was 22 and still ab-so-lut-ley not ready for babies and that is what contraception was to me.

Here is where things get contemplative and hindsight’ey … about a year in to my 2nd implanon, I developed adult acne. I was 23 and had NEVER ever battled any issues with my skin and BOOM overnight I literally had what was adult acne.  Because I had already been on the implanon for 4 years at this stage, 3 years with my first one and a year in to my 2nd, and because it in my eyes was just the ‘same’ as the pill which I’d been on for 5 years, NEVER ONCE did it cross my mind that this was the first extreme sign my body was giving me telling me something wasn’t quite right with it.

My adult acne story is honestly a WHOLE other story unto itself, but just know I tried absolutely everything to get rid of it (except roaccutane there was just something SO damn un settling about being told roaccutane could kill or deform an unborn child so “you couldn’t be pregnant if you went on it” that turned me off that drug for LIFE). And after YEARS of battling it and getting it settled, I did manage to have it calm down.

Then came the expiration of my 2nd implanon at the age of nearly 26 and yet again, Morgs & I still weren’t at all interested in trying and for 6 years we hadn’t even had a ‘scare’ so, in went my third implanon.

Which really leads us to where I am at today.

But here is a big dirty secret you have to know about me and something that I still can’t believe I ignored for so many years.

Are you ready?

For the last 6 years, so for the last 2 implanons…..

I haven’t had a period.

Not one. Not a symptom. Not a spotting of blood. Nothing.

And here is the worst part about all this – at age 23 is when I REALLY fell in to the practice and understanding of self love and started doing hardcore work on falling in love with who I am and all parts of me, and I KNEW better. I KNEW it wasn’t normal to NOT have a period – I intimately knew it. I talked to my girlfriends and best friends ALL the time about it. And yet I wasn’t called to do anything about it.

Until recently.

After years, and years, and years of self care and self love work, I literally couldn’t ignore what my body was trying to tell me for all these years. That I needed contraception and fake hormones GONE from my body.

About 7 months ago, Morgs & I had a big chat around ‘what next’ and ‘when’ (still years away guys – sorry haha) and I mentioned then I really had a calling to get my implanon out. I said since the very first time I got my period, I immediately went on synthetic hormones almost telling ‘her’ (my body) – you don’t know best, and I need something un natural to control my body, and I said it wasn’t ok in my eyes now that that had happened for 15 years. He agreed completely (of course he did he is a legit legend) and said let’s book the appointment to get it out.

Then the weirdest thing ever happened – I battled with my decision. I QUESTIONED my intuition, and ladies, please know, don’t ever, EVER do that.

And because my body and intuition knows best, it started trying to get my attention. I wasn’t listening to my own desire to come off contraception, so it needed to intervene. So it GAVE me my first period after 5 ½ years. Truth be told, having not had it in so long, we thought I was pregnant. My boobs doubled in size, I got cramps, I was tired, and I was a little nauseous. Admittedly all things that used to happen when I got my period ‘back in the day’. We pee’d on a stick (and by we I mean literally we, morgs stood at the door with Zeus in his arms and me and the stick in the toilet) – and it was negative.

I have to say as well – I KNEW it would be. Because again, my intuition said so and I WAS listening. Then a day after that, I got my first period after 5 ½ years – my body LITERALLY overrode the implanon.

It was her way of saying ‘babe, trust us, you aren’t listening to your own advice so please don’t be mad but we are over riding you’.

And I laughed and said to Morgs ok so THIS time I have to listen.

But guess what? I still didn’t.

This current implanon expired the end of this July anyway, so I kept telling myself, “well who cares, it’s only a few more months.”

And then ‘she’ did it again, she gave me another ‘pseudo’ period (4 months ago). And again, I was happy she did, I was even PROUD of my body for literally over riding the fake hormones I was so stupidly pumping in to it.

But still. I thought well, it’s getting so close to July should I just ride it out and remove it when I should.

Then the funniest thing of ALL happened – MORGAN started to get at me about it, asking me WHY hadn’t’ I booked the appointment yet and I really should as he knows it was a big and important decision for me and my body.

But still…. Do you see where I am going with this? 😉

THEN, my body did the ONE thing I can NEVER ignore and she freaking KNOWS it. She fucked with my skin. Big time. For years it had been flawless (with the odd break out of course, I am human) but overnight about 3 weeks ago, it felt like it developed adult acne overnight. I laughed and smiled and apologised to her, truly I did. I then got it. I surrendered. I couldn’t ignore her any more.

And it’s funny what happens when you finally surrender – and decide with certainty what you need to do, your body gives you MORE signs, because almost immediately I started to say to Morgan how I didn’t feel like myself. I was ok, and genuinely still positive etc, but I said how something wasn’t right. Like I was fighting something off, except it wasn’t a cold. I just didn’t feel ‘grounded’ physically is the best way I can describe it, and I knew in my deepest of cells, it was the final push and sign from my body telling me I NEEDED to get these fake hormones out of my body.

So yesterday, at 11:10am, my Dr removed my 3rd and final implanon, after 15 years of contraception, 9 of which has been with an implanon.

And I cried. I was an emotional ball of tears and snot (in the car after of course, I remained the polite snot free patient for my Dr) and I couldn’t stop shaking. Not cute shakes, I’m talking full body shaking.

If you’ve followed me by now you know me (heyyyyy friends and readers of years) and know I am totally open about some of my more woo woo beliefs, and this is absolutely one of them.

I honestly believe it was my immediate body reaction to it’s freedom – to 15 years of fake hormones flooding my body – and now it is free.

And I feel….. free.

I feel like for the first time in my womanhood journey, I am allowing my body to do what she’s’ meant to do, that is, to find her natural rhythm and rhyme.

I have claimed all of my body back. She’s 100% mine again, and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

I am excited to feel out this journey now, be super gentle on myself, kind to myself, and enter self-love practices like never before, and really just honour my body as she finds her own groove again, but does so 100% naturally and fake hormone free. First task at hand is entering a 2 day deep cleanse immediately. 

A new practice I have already implemented is saying 100 times a day (who knows how many to be honest but as many times in a day as I remember) …. “I approve of myself and love all of me” – just gently reminding my body how much I do love ALL of her and giving 100% approval back to ‘her’ to do her job magnificently.

I must say this as well. Entering this new space of no more synthetic hormones in my body is MY decision based on my own body and beliefs and readiness. I am 29 now and have spent MORE than half of my life telling my body it wasn’t good enough to be natural and work itself out by itself – but that is my belief system, it doesn’t have to be yours.

I am also not saying contraception is bad, not by any means, I am just saying it is no longer something I personally am for – but it could be something your body needs for medical reasons. So you need to do what you need to do for you and your body.

That’s the beauty of our bodies, they know what we each need, our job is to listen.

The other thing is, I don’t regret the last 15 years either. Regret is just something I never have as it’s an energy I don’t ever want to hold in my body, I am grateful I have gotten to 29 and in the health and position I am in from every decision I have made up until this point. Contraception and all – I cannot and will not ever regret it.

I am equal parts grateful now though I have made a new decision intuitively listening to my body and am excited to see where this leads me physically, emotionally and spiritually – you see I personally feel this was my intuition asking for 100% natural reign to step even more in to my role I am here to play on earth – and just to love and nuture my body in a way I never have.

So here we go essentially. You’re up to date now and as always, I am so damn grateful for my blog that 6 years on, still acts as my online diary where I feel I can always show up vulnerably and share the journey’s I am on.

I am committed to taking anyone who wants to come along for the ride on it as I use this space to keep sharing how it all goes for me and how my body goes with finding her re balance and harmonising groove.

But for now, I am off to have a bath, read a book and love on this beautiful body of mine as much as is humanly possible.

3 Comments

  1. Sue Goss Reply

    Love following u on Insta Anna! I too hv had the same contraceptive battles but I’m now 53 and hv had implanon in 4 six months and going really well after being on the pill for years…..I went off the pill at 29 and fell pregnant with my first baby and then 2 yrs later my second …..so still having to muck around with contraceptives at my age (when most friends hv gone through menopause) is crazy! Best of luck 🙌🏽

  2. Megan Reply

    LOVE this Anna! After 15 years I have stopped taking the pill, and it is seriously SO liberating! I feel so much more in control, and my body is definitely thanking me 10 fold! ♥ Thanks for sharing!! xx

  3. Brit Reply

    Hey Anna,

    I felt a similar calling the last few months after 9 years of contraception. Same as you, I hummed and hawed a bit, thinking “oh well what’s a couple more months while I research what I can do instead”. My body replied with high blood pressure and my doctor said the BC had to come out. I immediately felt better and more in tune with my body and the Earth, and I never want to fuck with my hormones again! I have decided to start charting using FAM and am considering the sympto-thermal device Daysy. My doc looked at me like I was insane when I said that. May I ask what natural BC method you’re using? Thanks for sharing your story, it really resonated with me ❤❤❤ much love

    Brit

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