My Implanon Diary: how contraception destroyed my womanhood
This testimony was sent by a reader, and shows just how destructive long-acting hormonal contraceptives can be to a woman’s health. As usual, my desire in publishing these testimonies is not to promote the practice of using contraception, but to alert women and men to the health risks involved in the use of these unnatural interventions. (More testimonies can be found here: ) Names have been changed and the text has been edited slightly for clarity – Kathy
My Implanon Diary
- July 2017: Middle ear, colds and tonsillitis
- August 2017: Flu 2 weeks
- 15th October: 4pm migraine with aura on the way to Grandma’s house
- 27th-30th October: 2pm when starting work Migraine with aura, dizziness, sensitive to bright lights, blurry vision, pins and needles in arms. Headache on one side, sensitivity and drowsiness. Sunday till Wednesday. I am drained of energy, fatigue, sore neck muscles. Knee hurts. Ate an apple before work (I don’t know if this triggered this.
- 29th October: woke up with migraine triggered by eucalyptus oil. Tired for the rest of the week.
- 2nd November: woke up with migraine without aura-throbbing on one side, nausea, abdominal pain, sore neck muscles, back of shoulders hurt
- 4th November: 2pm migraine with aura at work
- 7th November: 4:30-5pm Implanon removal dizziness, still drained of energy been 4 weeks now on/off pain
- 4th December: migraine with aura, possibly due to side effect of Ferrosig iron injection
- 22nd December: 11:40 am Migraine. Maxalt 1 tablet sublingual
- 23rd December: still a bit blurry vision but not that bad.
- 13th January: migraine-maybe a fake period? Not getting periods after Implanon removal, almost 2 months without a menstrual period. Still drained of migraine until 16th January! Throbbing headaches on plane. Worse when sleeping/lack of sleep/ change in routine. Migraine lasting for weeks. Making me more disabled than my disability. The doctors are just dismissing my symptoms, won’t offer solutions or do any investigations (apart from a brain scan) I want to be healthy to go to Peru, not have to worry about having a migraine or having constant pain all the time. It’s like a I have a permanent migraine. Can do a bit more physical activity, but still really fatigued after few bouts of activity. Have to do things slowly. Is it Chronic fatigue syndrome? I’m eating more iron rich plant foods every day. When I’m with my boyfriend, my worries go away….. I don’t want to be like this all the time, worrying about my health or when I’m going to get another migraine. I want to be happy again (well, I kind of am). I want to be free from disease. Someone to support me as well.
- 28th January 2018: numbness, pins and needles in right hand/shoulders
- 29th January 2018: numbness/pins and needles in left hand, feelings of floating, not being here, spotting, red fluid(blood clot?) Period started again! Very blurry vision at times. Depth perception not there. B12 is normal. Iron is low. Can see outlines only. Not very fatigued compared to before.
- 6th February: Dentist visit. Sensitive as always. But the drill sounded louder than what it actually was. I felt so weird when I came off the chair. Dr N. looked a bit funny. Bit headachy. I reckon I have a bit of vertigo. When I’m doing exercises my arm/shoulder/hand can’t feel much. Should I be worried? Sometimes I get shooting pains.
- 8th February: Dr O, says that it could be thoracic outlet syndrome. Has the same symptoms; sore neck, dizziness, shoulder pain from what? Apart from posture.
- 10th February: Mirena insertion
- 19th February: Dr O. called mum to say that it wasn’t thoracic outlet syndrome. Scan checked for this. Can’t do much strenuous activity at a time. Can’t concentrate on one thing.
- 20th February: Migraine-like headache, feel sick in the stomach, feel like throwing up, sleepiness after eating, pelvic pain
- 22nd February: Dr L, Iron Levels are back to normal, he says they should be up to 50-60mg. I want to prove him wrong.
- 24th February: Period started again umm period pain, Migraine with aura. Mirena is wrecking my body and mind…again just like the Implanon except that I have a massive migraine (throbbing right side). I feel numb and not worthy of anything (crying, sleeping, eating). I can’t be like this at all, not able to do much.
- 1st March: Mirena is out! Took a bit of convincing( 2 doctors visits) to make it happen. She was pressuring me to keep it in. It will settle in…. As if! I already have numbness in both arms from the Implanon, I don’t want to get wrecked from the Mirena too. You’ll get worse iron deficiency. Not so fast… the removal was painless… All comes down to this fallacy that is the medical industry and pharmaceutical companies that are trying to sell you devices that in the majority of females doesn’t work. Glossing over symptoms that exactly what it is that they are selling. NOT RIGHT! Patients should know the truth… not just glossed over brochures. LARCS are dangerous. Mental health problems – haven’t been right not me, thoughts of suicide, death, anxiety and depression, mood swings, irregular bleeding/spotting, it’s all related!! Doctors don’t want to admit that it (Mirena) does affect the woman. They say it’s not that, when clearly it is! I’ve been wrecked by this. I was actually getting better until two weeks ago….craving junk food, weight gain, pelvic pain, sleepiness, headaches/migraines…How is this normal? No one can live their lives like this, normally… no one??? All in best interest of doctors not patients. Too many drugs stuff up people. Even more money by masking/covering up symptoms that are caused by the very same thing that the same doctors prescribed. Dr O, is the only one that can help me with this
- 2nd March: Mirena crash? Was at work (FSW), but forgetful and not talking at all. I was so tired after. I’m not sleepy though. When I came home I had to sit down on the floor and cry. I couldn’t get up.
- 3rd March: woke up with a migraine/blurry vision. The Mirena/Implanon caused this for sure, so it could be the fake tumour as well but not been fatigued unless I do too much. No migraine with aura since last migraine(classical) on last Sunday. Its not just a migraine. I haven’t recovered since November. Scan let you know how I’ve been going. Do you think that it is pseudotumor cerebri? (fake tumour or intracranial hypertension) period of time where I forget where I am.
- 7th March: Extreme sleepiness before exercise class. Iron tablet not relieved by it. Yesterday afternoon extreme sleepiness, prodrome to migraine headache? No sleepiness after 3pm. Carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis in both hands. Advance Personnel-restrictions and adjustments letter to management. How to deal with this at work. Said to do light duties.
- 9th March: Sleepy at work. Seems to happen when I go near the computer/screens, forgetful, nausea, tummy pain, light headed, can’t concentrate, headachy on computer, feel like a zombie. Can’t do much. Should I use my minimal annual leave now? Feeling cold. Drop in BP? A bit panicky. Can’t be like this at work or anywhere. Also slept after work at Margaret Timpson Park for about 20-30 mins.
- 11th March: Woke up with migraine without aura and numbness in hands, headache, spacey feeling, sore throat, sensitive to light and sound. NOTE: Allergic to Flagyl.
- 12th March: Last night hot flashes, ear pain, flu-like symptom, numbness in legs/hands, headache, spacey feeling. Woke up spacey and tiredness – ummm right leg is hurting from bum to ankle right now (1:42pm) hot/cold hands.
- 13th March: Woke up with a headache, nausea (yucky feeling in tummy), numbness in legs/hands. In exact same pain as two weeks ago.
- 14th March: Appointment with Dr A. Neurologist November 2017 to January migraines without aura, migraine with aura every two weeks. February 2018 only one migraine with aura. Not too bad. Not a prick, talked about symptoms said that it was Chronic daily migraine. Didn’t say anything silly (I am surprised!) Headachy, feeling hungry easily, bit of nausea, numbness in hands and feet, tingling. Then he examined me. Balance, reflexes etc. But then guess what? He prescribes me an antidepressant and beta blocker. How fun…just what I thought. Next time, if it does get worse, I’ll have to mention fake tumour because it might be that. Big Pharma…..gosh that’s what I thought might happen.
- 15th March: Steroid injection day. Didn’t really hurt. It hurt after Dr C, injected it in the wrist. I was late though, at least they did it though.
- 16th March: After injection I was a bit more animated (happy) but not all the time. It hurt after though. Headache kind of went. The shooting pain in the leg disappeared. Woke up with headache and blurry vision, tummy pain and a little bit of nausea. Leg pain at 10 am, knee hurts, numbness in hands hot and cold.
- 20th March: Can’t metabolise caffeine too much. Have to tell darling (Tim) not to buy tea even (just in case) Sleepy after using computer for 45 minutes. Had to have a half hour nap (mini naps throughout the day) Left hand hurting (subtle) back/neck hurts.
- 21st March: Woke up with massive headache. Didn’t know where I was. Felt resurgence of leg pain (subtle) Numbness in right hand/ face numb. Oh the nausea!! When is this going to disappear? I have to be patient I know, but I want to feel normal again, so I can change the world and help people. I can’t work like this either…. that’s why I need support from everyone including Tim. I don’t want to leave Tim just because I’m not well (physically and mentally). Change the world. Help people. How can I do this if I’m not well? Why did this have to happen now? Rash as well not sure if related. Won’t be able to work like this. I think I have to wait a few more weeks. Assignment- Can’t even concentrate or see for some period of time. Umm…while I was at exercise I had to ask who everyone was. Didn’t know what I was doing. Had a period of depression at dance, everything went blurry/spaced out. Hands were numb, couldn’t feel them. Not talking to everyone.
- 22nd March: Woke up with subtle headache. Didn’t know where I was. I haven’t recovered! Not feeling refreshed. Didn’t know what I was doing. Feel like nothing matters, forgot my wallet. Dr L, prescribed antidepressant Escitalopram (Lexapro). I can’t deny that the Mirena has caused this, is from bad to worse. I was feeling like on top of the world, but now nothing matters. Can’t believe that the world has come to this. I’ll have to accept this. I don’t want to lose my friends over this.
- 23rd March: Couldn’t sleep last night. Woke up really early 6:30 am. Feeling like nothing matters, empty.
- 24th March: Went to bed at 12 pm Pains in my body resurgence
- 25th March: Woke up a bit tired, was talking a bit more. Hot flashes, dry mouth, ear pain, sore throat. Losing all interest in previous activities. Loss of libido(sex drive)
- 26th March: Spaced out on b12 tablets. Woke up erratic, lost interest, feeling a bit shaky, crying a bit, irritability. Went to bed at 11p, woke up at 5:14 am, went to bed again 7:14am
- 27th March: Ear pain in Left ear. Spaced out-migraine? Anxiety, shaky, erratic, insomnia night time.
- 28th March: Spaced out migraine, dizziness
- 30th March: blood pressure down? Feel weird/strange, woke up with migraine
- 31st March: had the shakes, tonsillitis and shingles, conjunctivitis. Still a bit angry over loss of libido. Maybe should start virginity pledge over.
- 1st April: sleepy at usual time. Feeling better but without emotion or being animated. Nothing excites me. Can’t remember stuff people have said. People’s names are not affected. Blurry vision after 10:30 am really tired because went out in morning. Everything is a blur. Sweating a lot.
- 2nd April: spaced out, pelvic heaviness, bp down, shooting pain in vagina, feeling a bit down, blurry vision, cramping. At folk festival, not really there, emotional numbness
- 3rd April: Feel like I’m dying, not really here, blurry vision.
- 4th April: can remember things a bit more. Sleepy at 10:30- 12pm. Quiet, not really talkative as much. Usual symptoms. Feeling of derealisation. Still not myself though
- 12th April: conjunctivitis, better-woke up sweating, numb hands, shooting pain in vagina, cervical mucus. Tea helped eye pain. Feel really fatigued. Sore throat
- 15th April: woke up with jaw pain (can’t open my mouth properly), happened yesterday at about 3pm. Cannot remember what happened yesterday, everything is a blur. At least I’m living in the present moment.
- 16th April: Woke up to find that my jaw pain had worsened. It was really excruciating. Had to take 2 Panadol. Felt really foggy. I’m not really sure what I’m doing, can’t concentrate properly. Woke up sweating. Painful jaw when bending over, flu-like symptoms. I feel really happy on the drug oddly enough.
- 17th April: Dr O. appointment Explained symptoms, gave me tips about depression, gave me brain energy supplement, tapering off to ½ tablet of escitalopram
- 22nd April: Migraine without aura. Slept all day pretty much, was really sleepy
- 24th April: migraine without aura. Timing of drug maybe? Sleepy ummm…. Normal stuff
- 28th April: sleepy in morning. Yesterday didn’t take the antidepressant. Obtrusive thoughts have come back. Some symptoms are resurging, but only sometimes and not as painful.
- 30th April: Woke up with migraine with aura- blood clots? Feeling sick in stomach after eating banana, vomited
- 2nd May: migraine without aura. Blurry vision but ok, bit spacey. Period back but is black. Hope it returns to normal. I feel spacey-double vision, bit of anxiety etc.
- 4th May: spaced out, feel flat. Started Happy hormones program. Just when I think I’m good I’m not . No caffeine(including chocolate). The nausea is killing me. I feel pregnant.
- 5th May: Started happy hormones program (herbal supplement) Am really starting week two. A bit weird in terms of alkaline/acid balance but is still good because it should work. Can’t wait to get the supplement to really heal from within.
- 9th May: woke up tired. All symptoms are returning. Antidepressant is just masking the pain. As long as I don’t get depressed again, I’m fine.
- 17th May: I’m the real me though. Feel so strange though. Maybe its because I’m coming off antidepressants. No pain apart from back pain. Yawning a lot. Woke up tired. Can do a lot more now. Feel like dancing! Lot calmer.
- 18th May: I really can’t see. I’m more myself though, I think the symptoms have resurged. I have to get this fixed even if I have to go alone. I’ll have to go to Dr A, Dr O, and Dr L. by myself again. Depression has not returned. At least I’m not in pain. Hospital eventually until they perform a lumbar puncture.
- 21st May: Went to Calvary Hospital, saw some doctor. Talked to mum about situation. Dismissed the symptoms as migraine. Wanted to give me medication for the headaches. Nausea at 9:45 am. The medical system in general- She said to go to the neurologist/ ophthalmologist. NOT Pseudotumor cerebri Luckily!! Doctor said that it was really rare. That’s another reason to find out about all the possibilities.
- 25th May: three migraines with aura-lasting 1-2 hours each. Why can’t they recover today? Because maybe it was a migraine not fully recovered. Spaced out.
- 28th May: woke up spacey. Don’t feel right. Nauseous feeling after 9am hot flash
- 31st May: Woke up tired/migraine with aura. I’m not recovering after each one. I’m always angry because it’s not normal. I just want it cured as such.
- 4th June 2018: numb. I feel like my brain is dying. Light intolerant. Metallic taste in mouth. Can’t remember things. Not knowing what it was…..la obscuridad. Just want to check my eyes – just in case.
- 8th June 2018: Woke up tired, a bit spacey. Period came back yesterday? Can’t remember much-little bit bits. Migraine starting? PMS?
- 27th June: cravings for sugar-carbs. Not sure what is going on. Still can’t see. I hope that it is not permanent. I love Tim so much I don’t know what to say to him. Can’t wait today!! Filming B and B.
- 23rd June: LP day! Deakin.. Went to CT machine face down with 2 pillows-a bit scary though. Then the radiologist/Doctor said its very important that you don’t move during this bit. Then he cleaned the area. Then he injected with anaesthetic-it stung like mad! It didn’t hurt though. Asked me to cough several times during the procedure. He also collected the fluid and did the puncture. Only felt a little pressure. The radiographer/technician, he said I’ll patch you up. He then took a blood sample. He couldn’t find my vein twice. Looked like a war zone. My vein collapsed (bled), my arm was bleeding like heaps, but I wasn’t aware of it happening. Then he took me into a room to lay down flat. Asked me if I wanted biscuits and a drink.
- 24th June: hurts a little where the puncture site is
- 26th June: Hurts, neck hurts, Memory not all that great. Dr L, appointment update: Lexapro withdrawal symptoms: not return of depression. Feel like big fog returning, blurry vision etc. Forgetfulness, but more calm not sad though. Lost all emotion, started to go downhill again. Am not depressed though(I hope not, nausea, mood swings, no anxiety. Feel like me again.
- 7th July: Depression in morning(crying spell) about Tim. I hope I haven’t lost a friend. I still want to do this project together. Hope is what keeps us alive. No more physical symptoms.
- 11th July: weirdness might be depersonalisation or derealisation I’m still writing in this diary because I’m going to live to tell the tale! Not sure if I can work. I need support do basic things. I can’t keep doing this, getting more medical certificates. Now I’ve been ruined. My womanhood is being destroyed. All this time trying to get a boyfriend, a partner, companion, a lover, or for some drug to take it away. Losing all interest in happy things. The world is crashing down anyway. I might as well as be dead. I’m not even thinking properly. I need to talk to Tim I’m sure he is understanding but I want him to come to doctors appointments so then he understands what’s going on with my body. LARCS are dangerous, not all drugs work. Remember its still a man’s world. I have lost my job (FSW) at a shoe shop and my boyfriend (not due to all this thankfully). I hope I can find hope from all this, to continue my life journey to become a librarian.
1. Migraines with and without aura
2. dizziness, fatigue, weakness
4. temperature regulation-feel hot/cold all the time
5. depressive mood
6. panic attacks/anxiety/depersonalisation
7. craving sweet foods all the time
8. flu like symptoms
9. iron deficiency
10. Numbness and tingling of both arms
11. weakness of arms
12. tiredness after exertion/waking
15. pelvic pain
16. abdominal pain
17. Forgetfulness, confusion, disorientation
18. back pain
21. Menstrual bleeding with clots
22. shooting pain in vagina
23. hip pain