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Hormonal Methods of Birth Control (cont.)

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Contraceptive implants

A contraceptive implant known as Implanon is available in the U.S. Implanon provides contraception by the slow release of the progestin etonogestrel over a period of three years. Implanon is a thin rod that is inserted in the upper arm under local anesthesia. Protection from pregnancy occurs within 24 hours of insertion of the rod, and the failure rate is comparable with surgical sterilization (tubal ligations). One advantage of the Implanon rod is that fertility rapidly returns after removal of the rod.

A two-rod implant containing the progestin levonorgestrel (Jadelle) was approved by the FDA for 5 years of use, although it has not been marketed in the United States. Similarly, the Sino-Implant II contraceptive implant is similar to Jadelle, but is designed to remain in place for 4 years.

Preliminary studies of the product showed that it was generally well tolerated and effective in preventing pregnancy. However, these studies showed that irregular bleeding is a possible side effect of the product.

As with all other hormonal methods of birth control, Implanon will not protect a woman against sexually transmitted infections.

Medically reviewed by Mikio A Nihira, MD; American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology


Kost K, Singh S, Vaughan B, Trussell J, Bankole A. Estimates of contraceptive failure from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth. Contraception. 2008;77(1):10-21.

Previous contributing authors: Barbara K. Hecht, PhD and Carolyn Janet Crandall, MD, FACP

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/27/2014

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Hormonal Birth Control - Methods Question: What type of birth control do you use? Did you have to try several methods before finding a satisfactory one?

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