Neuropathy associated with etonogestrel implant insertion

Contraception. 2012 Nov;86(5):591-3. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2012.05.014. Epub 2012 Jul 6.


Background: The etonogestrel contraceptive implant (Implanon®) is an effective, long-acting subdermal method of hormonal contraception for women.

Case: We describe a case of forearm pain and hypoesthesia associated with the insertion of the Implanon® contraceptive implant in a healthy 26-year-old female. These symptoms were due to direct implant contact with the medial cutaneous nerve of the forearm. The importance of correct insertion technique is discussed.

Conclusion: Care should be taken to avoid nerve injury during insertion of subdermal contraceptive implants. An understanding of regional anatomy and the correct insertion technique will prevent insertion-related complications. Nexplanon® has been developed to replace Implanon®. It has a redesigned applicator intended to increase insertion accuracy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Desogestrel / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Implants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Forearm / innervation
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / etiology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology*


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Drug Implants
  • etonogestrel
  • Desogestrel