Intervbiew 54 - Victoria
More about me...
Victoria, single, recently graduated from university and is currently seeking work. She would like to work with young people in the area of sexual health.
Victoria decided for one of the long acting reversible contraception; the implant. For the last two years, she has been using one and she hasn’t experienced any side effects such as putting on weight or irregular periods. In fact, her periods stopped two months after she had the implant.
Victoria thinks it is important to make an informed choice when it comes to contraception. Before deciding what type of method to use, she visited official health websites like NHS Direct and read information leaflets about it. She wanted to talk to her GP about the implant but to her disappointment, she just gave her a leaflet and sent her away. She then, looked online for the nearest Family Planning clinic and went to the drop-in time service. Her experience there was very different. The nurse went through the implant leaflet with her; explained possible side-effects and she was allowed time to ask questions. Victoria decided right away that the implant was what she wanted. A second nurse appeared and again, she was explained step-by-step the procedure and the forms she needed to sign. She was also told that she had the right to go back to the clinic at any time and have the implant removed. Victoria thinks that, for her, the implant is the best form of contraception and plans to have another one put in after the current one expires.
Victoria went to the GUM clinic after discovering what she thought was a ‘lump’ in her cervix. At the clinic she was asked about her sexual life – something she didn’t mind, and offered to be tested for all STIs. She wasn’t particularly concern about STIs but thought it was a good idea. The ‘lump’ in the cervix was anatomical and she tested negative for all infections.
Victoria went to a Family Planning clinic to find information about the implant and decided she...
Victoria was told that she could have the implant removed if she wasnt happy about it.
You have the option to go back. If you've got any concerns, you have the option to go back even within a month and get it removed if you don't like it. It's completely up to you and any woman who says, "Oh they wouldn't take it away from me," and like, "My doctor said keep going for three months and I didn't want to." She obviously didn't go on the internet and type in Family Planning clinic in my city because it's not hard. My doctor was rubbish, gave me no information and when I contacted the reception to see when I could make the appointment she offered me one in about three months' time which I didn't want, I wanted it sooner than that. So my doctor was absolute rubbish which is why I went to my local GUM clinic. And there were two others attached to the university hospital that I could have gone to but I went to the Family Planning one just because it was closer. Three in one city and, you know, it's not a big city because I was in [city], three but you know so if you're living anywhere that doesn't have one you're probably in a village in the middle of nowhere. It's impossible to not have it done and if someone tells you they can't take it out, go somewhere else because you're entitled to have it taken out if you don't want it.
You were told that?
Yes. You don't have, they recommend that you keep it in for three months because after that the side effects will stop and you'll probably like it but if you don't want it for the three months or you put it in and suddenly you've gone up half a stone already and you're bleeding all the time, you're very welcome to have it taken out and go back on the pill or go on to condoms or go on to any other thing you want but it's your choice and it is always your choice and that's what they stressed to me which is why they were so different from my doctors. Your choice, if you want it you have it, if you don't come, we'll take it out.
Victoria explains why she is happy using the contraceptive implant. She plans to use it long term.
Victoria thinks that it is a good idea to always use a condom even when not engaging in...
Lots of people don't realise that if you're, you know, just sort of body rubbing or dry humping or just touching it or using your mouth or something you can catch all manner of things from it. But you just don't realise because you think, 'Well it's not sex, I'm not going to get pregnant so I'm not going to get an STI." You can catch anything anyway and indeed pubic lice you catch without having sex is the main one that you would catch. But all sorts of things that use, the way you touch the bodily fluids, you can catch something, you know like possibly not Chlamydia but Herpes definitely you could get that and that's incurable and Gonorrhoea you can do that as well, HIV it requires probably blood as well as sexual fluids but if you've got a cut on your finger that's enough, you know, things like that.
Victoria thinks that NHS [Health] Direct is very good. For initial source of information she...
Victoria felt a lump in her cervix and decided to go to the GUM clinic.
Yes I felt a lump inside me and it was especially uncomfortable when I used a tampon, I could feel it there and it was slightly uncomfortable and I'd been watching 'Embarrassing Bodies' which I found are very interesting, sort of, I like medical documentaries, I find it very interesting and so I felt where it was and I felt that doesn't feel normal to me. I didn't think it was normal. So I went to a GUM clinic to check which was a slightly interesting experience as I'd only gone in there for a lump and I got questioned about my entire sexual history which took you know, a good ten min, a good ten minutes with the two people in the world I've had sex with but they wanted to know what time each relationship started and ended and how long have you been sexually active, what protection had I used and everything. Finally we got to the examination room and they told me it was just my cervix and drew me a picture of why it felt so weird and then tested me for all the STI's. So they just inserted a swab into my cervix, one swab, about ten seconds in there, that was it and then took a tiny bit of blood to test for HIV. And they sent me a text, two of my test results saying, "All your test results came back clean." And then handed me a bag of free condoms and I went on my way.