Background: Pregnancy should be avoided for 12 to 18 months after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery. The etonorgestrel (ENG)-releasing implant (Implanon®) may represent a safe and effective contraceptive method in morbidly obese women who are candidates for bariatric surgery. In addition, the subcutaneous delivery of steroid is unaffected by malabsorptive surgery.
Methods: Three cases of young women with ENG-releasing implant are reported. The device was inserted 1-2 months prior to RYGB.
Results: Their initial weights were 130 to 176 kg, and the mean weight loss was 33.6 kg at 6 months. The concomitant serum ENG concentrations decreased currently with weight loss but remained above the minimum concentration required for effective contraceptive effect of the implant for at least 6 months following RYGB (average, 170 pg/mL). The concentrations observed before weight loss were lower than in normal-weight women, but decreases in ENG concentrations following implant insertion were similar.
Conclusion: These unique data in morbidly obese women highlight the need for further pharmacokinetic studies of contraceptive agents in obese women during weight loss.
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