Contraceptive, implantable progestin: Implantable progestin in the form of Norplant was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for contraception in 1990 and the newer Norplant 2 was approved by the FDA in 1996. It is no longer available in the United States.
Made up of matchstick-sized rubber rods, this type of contraceptive is surgically implanted under the skin of the woman's upper arm, where it steadily releases a contraceptive substance (a progestin called levonorgestrel).
The six-rod Norplant provides protection for up to 5 years (or until it is removed), while the two-rod Norplant 2 protects for up to 3 years.
Norplant failures are rare but are higher with increased body weight (in heavier women).