Timing of postpartum etonogestrel-releasing implant insertion and bleeding patterns, weight change, 12-month continuation and satisfaction rates: a randomized controlled trial

Contraception. 2019 Oct;100(4):258-263. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2019.05.007. Epub 2019 May 27.


Objectives: To evaluate whether timing of etonogestrel (ENG) implant insertion during the postpartum period affects maternal bleeding patterns, body mass index (BMI) and 12-month satisfaction and continuation rates.

Study design: This is a secondary analysis of an open, randomized, controlled trial. Postpartum women were block-randomized to early (up to 48 h postpartum) or delayed (6 weeks postpartum) insertion of an ENG implant. Bleeding patterns and BMI were evaluated every 90 days for 12 months. At 12 months, we measured implant continuation rates and used Likert and face scales to measure users' satisfaction. The level of significance was 0.4% (adjusted by Bonferroni test for multiplicity).

Results: We enrolled 100 postpartum women; we randomized 50 to early and 50 to delayed postpartum ENG implant insertion. Bleeding patterns were similar between groups. Amenorrhea rates were high in both groups during the follow-up (52%-56% and 46%-62% in the early and delayed insertion group, respectively). Prolonged bleeding episodes were unusual in both groups during the follow-up (0-2%). Maternal BMI was similar between groups and decreased over time. Twelve-month continuation rates were similar between groups (early insertion: 98% vs. delayed insertion: 100%, p=.99). Most participants were either very satisfied or satisfied with the ENG implant in both groups (p=.9).

Conclusion: Women who underwent immediate postpartum insertion of the ENG implant have similar bleeding patterns, BMI changes, and 12-month satisfaction and continuation rates compared to those who underwent delayed insertion.

Implications: Our results from a secondary analysis of a clinical trial support that satisfaction, continuation and bleeding patterns do not differ when women received contraceptive implants immediately postpartum or at 6 weeks. However, the emphasis on infant growth in the trial and easy access to delayed placement may have influenced results.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02469454.

Keywords: Bleeding pattern; Continuation; Etonogestrel implant; Postpartum; Satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brazil
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / adverse effects
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / therapeutic use*
  • Desogestrel / adverse effects
  • Desogestrel / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Implants / adverse effects
  • Drug Implants / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Menstruation / drug effects*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


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

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02469454