Post # 1
So I’ve been waiting several months to get Implanon put in my arm, and as I’m self-employed I’d rather not pay the $850 my OB office charges. So I thought I’d go to Planned Parenthood to take advantage of their sliding scale based on income.
There are several PP clinics in my city but none of them do the implant, so I had to drive 90 minutes out to another city. I get there, wait an hour, get called to the back. I get weighed and they ask me my height and put me in a room where they go over all of the details.
The girl is reading off all this stuff, hands me the ‘after care’ sheet, then glances at a chart on the wall and tells me to ‘hold on, she’ll be right back’.
A few minutes later she comes in to tell me that my BMI is one point (ONE POINT) outside their range and that she cannot insert the implant because well, I’m too fat. Bees, I’m no stick but I am a very healthy, active person. I run 5ks, belly dance 5 hours a week, I’m a happy and active person… I wear a size 12, I have breast implants that added 8lbs, blah blah. Also can I emphasize that she ASKED me my height? I was wearing shoes with a platform; instead of telling her the truth I should’ve added an inch and this whole thing wouldn’t have happened.
I asked her why they didn’t mention BMI was a factor and she said ‘well we don’t screen for that over the phone.” I said it sure would’ve been nice to know this detail before I drove 3 hours round trip, with my mother, on a Monday morning. I was SO PISSED about this experience I don’t even know where to begin. What if I was a body builder and was out of the BMI scale because of my muscle mass?
Why is BMI even a measurement with an organization like Planned Parenthood? I thought BMI was outdated due to it’s rigid hard and fast rules when humans are vastly different.
My OB/GYN will absolutely put the Implanon in my arm, no questions asked. BMI and/or my weight was never a factor. I just don’t want to pay the $850.
Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
Post # 3
Sorry to hear that. Maybe they stick to set numbers like that more, as they don’t have a history to base your overall health from?
It sucks that you have to pay so much for it and you wasted your time!
Post # 4
That’s bullshit. Completebullshit. You should call the office, and speak to the supervisor, and tell them about your active lifestyle, breast implants (although no offense, I can’t see how they would weigh 8lbs), and the fact that y ou were only one point away. Also, do a bit of research on why they would have turned you away so you can debate it. I mean, I am no doctor, but this just makes no sense to me!
Post # 5
@Blanche: I just got the Implant a few weeks ago and before I got it, I read all of the detailed material from the manufacturer. Basically the implant works by adding a small amount of hormone to the bloodstream. The amount of hormone dimenishes over time, but should always be enough to prevent pregnancy. However, the manufacturer states that in overweight women, the amount of hormone may not be enough to prevent pregnancy as effectively. It may be possible to still get the implant and have it removed earlier, but I’m not sure. As much as it sucks in your situatution, it sounds like PP was following a strict interpretation of the manufacture’s guidance.
Post # 6
That sucks. It’s like the birth control patch – I know there was a big deal a few years back where people over a certain BMI couldn’t get it because it could *possibly* make it less effective. Looks like they’re probably just covering their asses.
Post # 7
Thanks for your feedback, guys.
I guess I understand the ‘science’ behind it but I think it’s bullshit that they didn’t even bother to mention this. Or actually measure me. I drove 150 miles at $4/gallon and could very well have had to take time off work to make this appointment (I didn’t, thank god). Just seems to me that PP might take more of an interest in these details for people who are trying to come to them because they can’t afford the medication, yeah?
I guess I’ll use the last 3 NuvaRings I have and go back to them after I diet to get my BMI down.
Post # 8
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
BMI could affect the ability of the drug to enter the bloodstream in consistent levels over the time period it is supposed to last. It’s probably a rule issued by the drug company that manufactures the implant. You could lose weight or you could skew your height at another location but bear in mind it might affect how long the Implanon works for you.
Post # 9
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
It does suck that you drove that far to find out they refused to do the procedure.
Post # 10
I don’t question them not doing the procedure because of BMI guidelines, but they really should have mentioned something about it so you don’t waste time and gas. Also, I’m not sure why they would just take your word on your weight instead of measuring and weighing you if it’s such a strict guideline.
Post # 11
What REALLY blows is looking through all of these “BMI isn’t accurate”, “BMI is outdated”, “BMI should be replaced by waist to hip” articles. How fucking frustrating. I can’t believe we’re still using this as a measurement.
Post # 12
Aside from the fact that I HATE BMI and wish that theory would just disappear already (you mentioned all of its weaknesses), it sucks hardcore that they didn’t tell you over the phone that this was a factor in getting the implanon. I’d be pissed wasting a day and driving that far just to find that out, too.
Post # 13
BMI is ridiculous. I get that it works for some people and that’s great but I seem to run into exceptions as opposed to the “average” populous. Guys who are told they aren’t in a healthy BMI range when they’re the most incredibly fit, muscular people I know and all I can think is “if they lost more weight they’d be unhealthy.” I’m naturally small and all my life I’ve been barely points away from the “unhealthy/annorexic” side of the scale despite being perfectly healthy and even having some fat around my middle.
Rant aside – that’s total BULL. I can’t believe you didn’t force them to let you speak to their supervisor. I can’t imagine 1 single point was going to render the implant useless. ALSO, a person’s weight can fluctuate by several pounds during the day. I bet you $50 that that morning you would have qualified. Ridiculous. I’d try again if I were you, even though they did go about this wrong this time. $850 is a huge chunk of change to part with.
Post # 14
From talking to my OBGYN, people who weigh more (which leads to a higher BMI – although I agree that BMI is practically useless for most people) require higher doses of hormones for birth control. This doesn’t effect most people as birth control doses more than enough for what their body needs.
I wanted to be put on a very-low hormone dosage pill to help counteract symptoms the higher doses were giving my body. My doctor emphasized that because I weigh a little more than many (size 12/14 with 36F boobs) that the low hormone pill may not be enough hormone to effectively prevent pregnancy. He still gave it too me but with the warning of potential lowered effectiveness.
Since, it’s my understanding, the Implanon is a low hormone dose, maybe it isn’t effective enough for those who weigh a bit more like us for PP to be comfortable issuing it.
It does suck they didn’t say anything about this beforehand though.
Post # 15
If it’s not based on BMI I wonder what they could base it on? Just weight alone? So anyone above 180lbs would not be safely covered?
Also, if you can’t get implanon perhaps try Nuvaring. I have recently changed to this form of BC and it is fabulous! So much better than the pill or an injection.
Post # 16
My guess is that PP receives a bunch of federal money, right? They CAN’T bypass these guidelines or they could lose all their funding for not following protocol.
So “1 single point” may NOT render YOUR implant unsuccessful. But providing it to you may cost them their funding. Research has shown that a BMI above a certain point reduces effectiveness. They have to draw a line somewhere. And they have less freedom to make their own decisions because of the amount of funding they receive.
Yes – she should have taken your height. No – they can’t go over everything on the phone, or they would never be on the phone – so they probably just go over the highlights. You responsibility is to be informed as a patient and research ahead of time. Sucks, I know and I would be really frustrated too.
buuuuut……..If you want your birth control to be funded with tax dollars, then there are more hoops to jump through. If you want shortcuts you have to pay out of pocket…. That’s how Capitalism in a Democratic Society works.