Birth Control Hormonal Methods (cont.)
M Samra, MD
Bryan D Cowan, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Lee P Shulman, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
The FDA approved the contraceptive use of implants (levonorgestrel, brand name Norplant) in 1990. In 2003, the manufacturer decided not to continue marketing the Norplant System to health care professionals. The company has chosen to focus on developing other birth control options. Current users with medical questions may call the Norplant System Information Line at (800) 364-9809.
This method consists of inserting 6 silicone rubber rods (about the size of matchsticks) under a woman's skin in her upper arm. They can be seen and felt under the skin.
Implanon implant provides serum concentrations that are adequate for contraception coverage for approximately three years. The Norplant implant releases medication throughout the period of use and begins to work within the first 24 hours. Protection may be provided for 5 years. The hormone stops ovulation.
Although the Norplant system is no longer available, a new single-rod system (Implanon) using a form of the progestin desogestrel and providing 2-3 years of contraception is currently available in Europe and has recently been approved by the FDA in the United States.
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