Worried about that bruise that’s formed after getting the birth control implant? Keep calm and read on to find out what’s NBD and what signs might indicate a problem.
Yep, bruising is pretty common after inserting the birth control implant, so no need to hightail it back to your healthcare professional.
It’s also totally normal to experience some arm soreness and swelling around the injection site, too.
Bruising happens when blood vessels are damaged, which is kind of par for the course when you puncture tissue. Not applying enough pressure can contribute to bruising, too.
Like with injections, the technique of the person inserting it and your own tendency to bruise — or not — plays into bruising after the birth control implant.
Absolutely! For starters, follow your doctor or other healthcare professional’s aftercare instructions.
Once the implant has been, well, implanted, the doctor will apply a pressure bandage over the injection site and tell you how long to leave it on — usually 24 hours. Do it. It’ll help with bruising and protect the wound from bacteria.
An over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with any soreness. You’ll also need to be careful not to bump your arm for the first 24 hours.
Yes, other side effects are possible just like with any other drug, but most people who use the birth control implant have mild or no side effects.
Irregular periods — spotting especially — is the most commonly reported side effect. Other common side effects include:
- sore breasts
- weight gain
- mood swings
- back pain
- stomach pain
- inflammation of the vagina (vaginitis)
- painful periods
Not all side effects are downers, though. A lot of people who use the implant enjoy lighter periods or no periods at all.
Though it’s super rare, there is some risk of more serious effects, including:
- migration of the implant (as in it moves out of place)
- ovarian cysts
- blood clots
- high blood pressure
- gallbladder problems
It’s hard to say because everyone’s different.
Bruising can last up to 2 weeks after inserting the birth control implant, but any arm soreness or tenderness at the injection site should go away within a few days.
The hormonal side effects, like headaches and breast tenderness, usually go away after a few months once your body adjusts to the hormones.
Spotting can last for 6 to 12 months for some people.
There sure is!
Try these to help with some of those unwanted side effects as your body adjusts to the hormones:
- Take OTC pain relievers to help with headaches and sore breasts.
- Sip on ginger tea or take an OTC antiemetic, like Gravol or Pepto-Bismol, to help with nausea.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals to help prevent nausea.
- Drink enough water since dehydration can contribute to headaches, upset stomach, and just feeling cruddy overall.
- Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, which can help your mood, energy levels, and headaches.
- Get regular exercise to help improve your mood and energy level.
Most side effects should clear up after a few cycles once your body gets used to the hormones. If they don’t, you have other options.
Talk to a healthcare professional about switching birth control methods.
All hormonal birth control methods can cause side effects, so be sure to tell your doctor or other healthcare professional exactly which side effects are making you want to switch.
Some might work better for you than others, so it may take trying more than one to find what works best for you. You also have nonhormonal birth control options.
You should be able to feel the implant in your arm by running your hand over it. If you can’t feel it or the implant feels like it’s bent or broken in your arm, see a healthcare professional right away.
You’ll also need to use a backup birth control method in the meantime to avoid pregnancy.
You should see a healthcare professional if you notice any of the following:
- signs of infection at the implant site, like worsening or severe pain, swelling, redness, or warmth
- fever, chills, and malaise
- pain in your lower leg that doesn’t go away
- severe chest pain or heaviness
- sudden shortness of breath or coughing blood
- sudden, severe headache that’s not like your usual headaches
- signs of stroke, like weakness in your arm or leg, or trouble speaking
- sudden vision troubles
- severe stomach pain
- heavy menstrual bleeding
- lump in your breast
Bruising after inserting the birth control implant is very common. Following the aftercare instructions provided by your healthcare professional can help minimize bruising and pain.
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a Canada-based freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.