Experience with Implanon in a northeast London family planning clinic

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2004 Mar;9(1):39-46. doi: 10.1080/13625180410001696223.


Aim: The primary objective of the study was to evaluate the continuation rates of a relatively new long-acting method of contraception, Implanon. The secondary objective was to study discontinuations related to bleeding problems and their management.

Method: A retrospective review of records of women fitted with Implanon was undertaken during February 2000--January 2003.

Results: Results from the secondary objective will be the subject of a separate communication. Of the 147 implants fitted, 132 records could be retrieved; of these, 97% of the women had pre-insertion counselling by the clinician. The most common indications for Implanon usage were choice of a long-acting method, unhappy experience with other contraceptive methods and suboptimal compliance with contraceptive pills and injectables. The median age of fitting was 25 years and 36% of the women were nulliparous. No problems were experienced with fitting or removal of implants. Twenty (15%) women were lost to follow-up. Twenty-two implants were removed by the end of the study period, with 12 (60%) removals attributed to prolonged heavy/light bleeding. There were no known pregnancies during the study. Given that 15% of the women could not be followed up or contacted, the assumed lifetimes of Implanon using the Kaplan-Meier method are 0.90 (95% confidence interval 0.82-0.95) at 12 months, 0.80 (0.67-0.88) at 24 months and 0.75 (0.58-0.85) at 35 months. The confirmed lifetimes are 0.84 (0.71-0.91) at 12 months, 0.63 (0.42-0.78) at 24 months and 0.53 (0.28-0.73) at 35 months.

Conclusion: Although not free of side-effects, Implanon can be a good choice for women who are properly informed and counselled and seek long-term 'forgettable' contraception.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Desogestrel / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • London
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Prostheses and Implants


  • etonogestrel
  • Desogestrel