March 17, 2008

Contraceptives - What are Norplant implants

Norplant implants are progestin-only injectable contraceptives. They are small rods of a size of a match that are inserted under the upper arm’s skin through a minor 10-minute surgery.

Norplant consists of six rods and its successor Norplant II or Jadelle consists of 2, both types of implants are no longer available in the U.S. since 2002 and 2007 respectively.

Another similar progestin-only implant, Implanon that consists of only one rod took the lead in the States when it was approved by the FDA in 2006.

How it works?

Norplant is inserted under your arm and can remain there up to 5 years. After 24 hours after it was inserted it starts the slow release of the hormone progestin that prevents pregnancy.

This hormone thicken cervical mucous so as to create an anti-sperm barrier. It also suppresses ovulation as well as the endometrium, the thin uterus lining to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.

How effective is Norplant?

Norplant appeared circa 1990 and it was a groundbreaking contraceptive back them because of its as-good-as-sterilization effectiveness, except that it could be reversed.

However, its effectiveness depends much on who’s using it. For instance, teenagers, overweight women and women who have had hard capsules instead of soft ones are more likely to not have good results with Norplant.

Why is no longer available in the U.S?

Norplant is no longer commercialized in the States and other countries due to the severity of side effects experienced by some Norplant users. So if you are having Norplants for the time being, you will have to use another kind of contraceptive after you get them removed.

Source: Epigee

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