FAT PEOPLE, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE IMPLANT
So, about a month ago, I decided to switch birth control methods from the depo-provera shot to the implanon implant.
Implanon/Nexplanon is a small matchstick sized implant that is placed under the skin of your upper arm (typically of your non-dominant arm). It prevents pregnancy by continuously releasing the synthetic hormone progestin. This hormone works to prevent pregnancy by stopping eggs from being released by the ovaries.
The implant is highly effective. The implanon failure rate is .05% (x).
What’s so great about this birth control method is it doesn’t require much work! Go to the doctor, get it implanted, and you’re safe from pregnancy for three whole years (assuming it was implanted correctly and no weird drug interactions happen)! This is a great method for me, and others like me, because I am HIGHLY forgetful. The pill was impossible for me, and even the shot (which you only have to get once every three months) was hard for me to remember.
I’m writing this post directed at fat people because, since posting about my implanon adventures, I’ve received several messages from concerned people saying things like “My doctor says I can’t get the implant because I’m fat!” or “I’m worried about the implant not working because I’m overweight”, and other things of that vein.
That was also a concern of mine, because I’d seen conflicting things about the effectiveness of the implant on overweight people. The first thing I said to my doctor about switching was “I’m thinking about the implant but I’ve read I can’t get it because of my weight.”
My fabulous doctor rolled her eyes and told me I could totally get the implant!
The concern about the effectiveness of the implant for overweight people comes from this little tidbit on implanon/nexplanon’s website:
“It is not known if NEXPLANON is as effective in very overweight women because studies did not include many overweight women. If you are overweight, your health care provider may advise you to replace the implant earlier than 3 years.” (x)
From another website:
"The efficacy of NEXPLANON in women who weighed more than 130% of their ideal body weight has not been defined because such women were not studied in clinical trials. Serum concentrations of etonogestrel are inversely related to body weight and decrease with time after implant insertion. Therefore, NEXPLANON may be less effective in overweight women." (x)
So, because our great medical industrial complex doesn’t deem it necessary to study medicine in fat people (even though fat people make up a large majority of this country…) there are some unknowns as far as the effectiveness of this product in overweight people. However, no where that I can find, anywhere on the whole wide internet, does it say “The implant doesn’t work on fat people”
So, if you’re ever in a situation where your doctor says that to you, PLEASE find a new doctor. You deserve to receive the healthcare you want, including the birth control you want. There is no reason you should be denied access to this method because of your weight!
If you, like me, are overweight and trust the effectiveness of this birth control, then search for a doctor that will give you the implant!
I know this is really long but hopefully it’s informative!!