Contraception Reviews

Hormonal IUD vs Birth control implant

Hormonal IUD

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Birth control implant

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Overview

Rated 3.7

32 reviews

3 - 8 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 3.2

32 reviews

Every 3 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Hormonal IUD ingredients

Main hormones in Hormonal IUD

progestin


Birth control implant ingredients

Main hormones in Birth control implant

What Lowdown reviewers say

Benefits: What this birth control can help with

Adenomyosis

Endometriosis

Heavy periods

Menopause

Period pain

Period pain

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Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Hormonal IUD reviews

32 reviews

Used for 8+ yr
27 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  1 day ago

  •  Stopped using

I got my first Mirena when I was 17. I would describe the insertion process as uncomfortable but not painful. I did have a vagal response (came close to passing out) right after, but it didn't last long, I just needed to sit for a minute. I experienced very light cramping for about 4-6 days afterwards. I did lose some weight that year that may have been attributed to the birth control, I went from 120lbs to 100lbs (there were no other pressing reasons for the quick change in my weight other than the BC, perhaps stress as it was my senior year of high school). At the time, the Mirena was thought to be effective for five years, so I had it removed and replaced with another Mirena when I was 22. The removal and reinsertion was more uncomfortable than the initial insertion, but totally manageable in my experience. Overall, I did not experience many hormonal side effects that I noticed. I pretty much stopped menstruating after the first few months of having it, aside from very occasional, very light spotting. I would sometimes experience symptoms of PMS without the bleeding (a little fatigue, some mood changes). I did develop some cystic acne in the first 1-3 years of being on my second IUD, but it was truly not much and never lasted long. My favorite part of this method is how effective and easy to use it is. I was truly never concerned about pregnancy from 17-27 which allowed for a lot of freedom in terms of my sex life. In my long term relationship, we do not use condoms (both have been screened for STIs) and I feel completely safe and comfortable with my partner not pulling out (I know that's a personal detail but I what to emphasize that that's how effective it truly is in my experience). I did recently decide to remove my hormonal IUD and replace it with the non-hormonal IUD. My Mirena still had at least 2 years left in it, but since I had not had a period or had gone through that natural, hormonal process in 10 years, I wanted to give my body a break from hormonal birth control to develop that relationship with my body. If I did not have the option/privilege to change methods, I would have 100% kept my Mirena until it expired, and probably got a third one.

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Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
46 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  1 week ago

  •  Still using

Love the Mirena!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
26 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  1 month ago

  •  Stopped using

This caused pain/vomiting/inability to sleep for 3 months after insertion. I was promised it would improve, and told to just keep giving it time. Severe menstrual cramps continued the whole 2 years that I had this. Doctors promised many times over the 2 years that my symptoms were normal and/or not due to the IUD(both incorrect). Around the 9 month mark I began to develop progesterone hypersensitivity autoimmune disease. This continued to progress until I removed it. This new condition landed me in the ER multiple times due to anaphylaxis: asthma, heart palpitations, high BP, frequent fainting, extreme rashes etc. I had to quit my job because I was not functional on any level. Luckily I eventually figured it out.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
27 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  1 day ago

  •  Stopped using

I got my first Mirena when I was 17. I would describe the insertion process as uncomfortable but not painful. I did have a vagal response (came close to passing out) right after, but it didn't last long, I just needed to sit for a minute. I experienced very light cramping for about 4-6 days afterwards. I did lose some weight that year that may have been attributed to the birth control, I went from 120lbs to 100lbs (there were no other pressing reasons for the quick change in my weight other than the BC, perhaps stress as it was my senior year of high school). At the time, the Mirena was thought to be effective for five years, so I had it removed and replaced with another Mirena when I was 22. The removal and reinsertion was more uncomfortable than the initial insertion, but totally manageable in my experience. Overall, I did not experience many hormonal side effects that I noticed. I pretty much stopped menstruating after the first few months of having it, aside from very occasional, very light spotting. I would sometimes experience symptoms of PMS without the bleeding (a little fatigue, some mood changes). I did develop some cystic acne in the first 1-3 years of being on my second IUD, but it was truly not much and never lasted long. My favorite part of this method is how effective and easy to use it is. I was truly never concerned about pregnancy from 17-27 which allowed for a lot of freedom in terms of my sex life. In my long term relationship, we do not use condoms (both have been screened for STIs) and I feel completely safe and comfortable with my partner not pulling out (I know that's a personal detail but I what to emphasize that that's how effective it truly is in my experience). I did recently decide to remove my hormonal IUD and replace it with the non-hormonal IUD. My Mirena still had at least 2 years left in it, but since I had not had a period or had gone through that natural, hormonal process in 10 years, I wanted to give my body a break from hormonal birth control to develop that relationship with my body. If I did not have the option/privilege to change methods, I would have 100% kept my Mirena until it expired, and probably got a third one.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
46 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  1 week ago

  •  Still using

Love the Mirena!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
26 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  1 month ago

  •  Stopped using

This caused pain/vomiting/inability to sleep for 3 months after insertion. I was promised it would improve, and told to just keep giving it time. Severe menstrual cramps continued the whole 2 years that I had this. Doctors promised many times over the 2 years that my symptoms were normal and/or not due to the IUD(both incorrect). Around the 9 month mark I began to develop progesterone hypersensitivity autoimmune disease. This continued to progress until I removed it. This new condition landed me in the ER multiple times due to anaphylaxis: asthma, heart palpitations, high BP, frequent fainting, extreme rashes etc. I had to quit my job because I was not functional on any level. Luckily I eventually figured it out.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments


Birth control implant reviews

32 reviews

Used for 12 - 18 mo
22 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

This is a good birth control compared to the other options. I previously tried the patches and it gave me an allergic reaction. Anyways, It was uncomfortable when they first insert the implant into your arm but then you get used to it. I will say that it is different for everyone but for me it has given me more acne spots, regulatted my periods, and given me more facial hair. Those being the only cons.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
19 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Still using

This birth control severely impacted my mental and physical health. This includes anxiety, depression, pelvic pain, irregular periods, heavy periods, spotting, headaches, laziness, grogginess, etc. Please do your research! Speak with a doctor you trust or multiple! Lastly, please consider if birth control is worth the side effects.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
30 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  1 month ago

  •  Still using

I liked the first two years and now I have weird symptoms, on the flip side it could be a couple of other things


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
22 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

This is a good birth control compared to the other options. I previously tried the patches and it gave me an allergic reaction. Anyways, It was uncomfortable when they first insert the implant into your arm but then you get used to it. I will say that it is different for everyone but for me it has given me more acne spots, regulatted my periods, and given me more facial hair. Those being the only cons.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
19 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Still using

This birth control severely impacted my mental and physical health. This includes anxiety, depression, pelvic pain, irregular periods, heavy periods, spotting, headaches, laziness, grogginess, etc. Please do your research! Speak with a doctor you trust or multiple! Lastly, please consider if birth control is worth the side effects.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
30 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  1 month ago

  •  Still using

I liked the first two years and now I have weird symptoms, on the flip side it could be a couple of other things


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
17 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  17th Mar 24

  •  Still using

Know your body and know what’s going into you. Do your research and know the risks!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
34 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  13th Mar 24

  •  Still using

I like the efficacy and not worrying about pregnancy. I dislike the mood effects and weight gain.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
32 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  12th Mar 24

  •  Stopped using

While I did not get pregnant, the side effect of bleeding so continuously made it difficult to do daily things and enjoy anything because I was constantly needing to ensure I had supplies with me as well as discomfort, irritation, and rawness.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
20 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  28th Feb 24

  •  Still using

not too bad, want a big fix.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
Lowdown user
🇺🇸 US
  •  28th Feb 24

  •  Still using

I learned to live with it because I forgot it was there. The side effects were intense the first couple month then I got used to it and stopped realizing how bad it was. The headaches come and go but are significant, I always thought it was my MS causing it until it didn’t come with relapses. I’m pretty much always bleeding or spotting, I gained 10 Pounds and it’s been very hard to control cravings. My emotions are everywhere or I have none. My sex drive which is normally very healthy is gone… And I get utis super frequently since I’ve been on it. My period was always 4 days before, currently it’s 5 days of heavy bleeding followed by weeks of light spotting. I hate it, I gave it a full year try, I’m having it taken out tomorrow.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
Lowdown user
🇺🇸 US
  •  27th Feb 24

  •  Still using

Insertion pain was next to none, just typical pinching/uncomfortableness that pelvic exams bring. Bleeding after the fact lasted for a week that tapered off into spotting for a day or two. The only serious cramping I experienced was about 3 hours after the fact. It lasted about 30 minutes and almost felt like contractions. Second week brought a snot like mucus, A LOT, that had spots/streaks of blood now and then. 3 weeks in my normal white discharge starting coming back with occasional snot like mucus again and then my first period. I can’t say it made my period heavier as I feel that it has naturally been heavier since I gave birth ( 4 months ago). This is my first month after having the IUD inserted and so far, so good. Very excited to see when the spotting will stop and if my period will even out to pre pregnancy normal.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
22 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  24th Feb 24

  •  Still using

Love this! I decided to leave a review because when I was looking into getting it all of the reviews were bad. You have to realize that if you don’t like something, you tell 9 people, if you do you tell one. Most people who like the implant simply never leave a review because they kind of forget it is in their lives. That’s how easy it is. I’ve had it for 4 months. I feel the exact same. My period STOPed! My boobs are a bit bigger and sore but i don’t really mind that. If anything i maybe gained one or two pounds:) Insertion was not bad at all. Try it out and you can always take it out after! But for me, I love it so far!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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