From Uncertainty to Trust

The bleeding continues – it has steadied and shows absolutely no sign of changing. It’s been seven days – certainly I’ve menstruated for much longer before but this feels different, like it has set in for the long-term. It’s manageable although the constant ache in my groin has become a little wearing over time.

When the doctor fitted the implant, he told me that if I was one of the women who suffered ‘break through’ bleeding or worse, I could take Utovlan to control it; this for many women helps them until the implant settles down – that is the hope anyway.

This morning I sat staring at the Utovlan box next to my bed wondering if I should take one. I have had these tablets for months, since the failure of my Mirena coil fitting. I had been given them in an attempt to lessen my flow; taking them had stopped the bleeding completely but coming off them felt hormonally hellish and the excessive bleeding merely started again the moment I stopped. The rather girly and innocent looking pink and white packets of pills have been gathering dust on my bedside cabinet ever since.

In my last post I spoke about acceptance; today the topic of the moment is trust. Despite the fears I have of what the hell all of this synthetic progesterone will do to me, this morning I had the strongest urge to take the Utovlan. I don’t know if this is being driven by a sense of desperation or it’s my intuition prompting me. I feel completely at the mercy of something beyond my control at present.

I again trawled through page after page of medical message boards relating women’s experience of bleeding with the implant. I felt utterly envious of the women who were period free and feeling fine on it – up until a week ago, so did I. Many with ‘break through’ just gave up and had the implant removed but many more found that their symptoms settled over time. So, despite it all, I feel like I must give the implant a chance to work.

About an hour ago, I went with the urge and took one little Utovlan – time will tell. Noticeable, the pain in my groin has gone, so I am hoping this is a good sign. Reading about women who have been bleeding non-stop for months, I am ready to try whatever I can to prevent this from happening; I know from my recent problems how physically and emotionally exhausting an experience this would be. I need a physical break from it – yet more bleeding fills me with dread. I knew it was a risk but my choices had started to dwindle and so my journey with trust really does start now in earnest. I am placing myself in the hands of a little plastic stick, a tiny pill, my poor old beleaguered body and whatever other forces in life there might be to get me through this.

I keep thinking of the trauma my mother went through, particularly in her forties. She had the added problem of multiple fibroids. The sight of lots of blood was something I got used to very early on because mum suffered so. I now feel that the years of blood loss related anaemia, the fainting fits, the panic attacks and the emotional and physical exhaustion that excessive bleeding brought my mother, might well have been an aggravating factor in her early demise. I have become my mother; these are her symptoms but this is my body and I am me and I feel that for both of us, I have to find a better way through than just to suffer with dignity. I am too impatient to be dignified!

I am being forced to open myself to possibilities that, until now, I have been stubbornly resistant to. This in itself is an interesting and useful process – so much of our thinking defines what is good or bad for us, not necessarily based on fact or experience but on the peculiar prejudices that our minds build over time, through fear and defensiveness. The ‘unnaturalness’ of synthetic hormones and their impact on women’s reproductive and hormonal health has always bothered me; it feels ironic that I am now in such a state that I am prepared to embrace them like a pharmaceutical knight in shining armour – ironic but on some level a little liberating.

After moaning about the lack of certainty in life in my last post, at present – as I happily (well sort of!) down the Utovlan – it occurs to me that the gift of uncertainty is actually infinite potential and possibility. I guess it is up to each of us whether we recognise that we might have more choices than our fears and resistances allow us to acknowledge.



  1. Cat said,

    February 23, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    I would just like to share my experience with this I have had implanon for 3 years and less than 2 weeks ago got a new one the bleeding never really stopped for me. I spotted continuously pretty much. My emotions have been great and I t keepsy weight down! I think i may try to get utovlan from my doctor. One thing that did make it stop which i’m sure wasn’t great to do was take a orthtricylen lo every 3 days and really that stopped my bleeding for about a year I just ran out of the 3 month pack and never got any more from
    my friend. I figure implanon has low hormones and so does the birth control and it actually worked! I keep implanon bc 3 years of no worrying works for me. The thought of a iud makes my stomach hurt. It’s been a roller coaster I own all black or very dark underwear and very dark sheets!

  2. luckyloom1 said,

    February 24, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Hi Cat,

    Thank you for your comment. It so good to hear of others women’s experience – it’s been a bit of a lonely few weeks. I think there ought to be an Implanon network! :0) I have just started taking the Utovlan again in earnest, going back to the doctor after a period of really heavy bleeding. I was getting desperate to find a way of managing the symptoms whilst waiting for the implant to settle down (if it ever does!). They consider me too old to take the pill now – too much of a health risk. After two days of taking Utovlan, the bleeding stopped and so far it’s stayed that way – so fingers crossed. It sounds like Utovlan might be a good solution for you. You’re right about it being a roller coaster!

    Good luck with the new Implant Cat! Do let me know how you get on and if the Utovlan does the job. M x

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