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by Michele Shackelford, staff writer
Implanon is a soft medical polymer that is inserted just beneath the skin of a women’s upper arm by a health care provider. It continually releases a low, steady flow of progestin for a period of three years. It is a discreet method of birth control that does not depend on patient self-administration, giving it a slight advantage from other forms of birth control. It can also be removed by a physician at anytime and a woman’s fertility rate will return to pre-existing levels.

According to the Organon press release, Implanon has been used by approximately 2.5 million women worldwide since 1998. It is a contraceptive method unlike any other on the market. The Organon Company recognizes this and will only administer Implanon to trained and certified providers. Planned Parenthood Hawai‘i just received their training for the new contraceptive.
Veronica Ryan, head of Patient Services at Planned Parenthood, said: “About four patients (in Hawai‘i) are interested right now; we feel it is going to really take off. It is a great option for women who don’t like to take the pill everyday. We are excited about this product because Norplant (a product similar to Implanon) was on the market and very popular, and we are looking forward to Implanon doing just as well,” she said.

“ We are excited about the approval of Implanon, which represents a real advancement in contraceptive technology and will provide women with a new level of confidence in contraception,” stated Michael V. Novinski, president, Organon USA Inc.

Implanon is a contraceptive, but does not protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Implanon can also cause irregular bleeding because it is a progestin-only contraceptive. Other side effects can include headache, acne, and emotional irregularity, which are associated with many other hormonal contraceptives.

Women have been waiting for a method of birth control like this. The FDA has said it is “highly effective.” Dr. David Grimes, a contraceptive expert and clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said: “Implanon is in the top tier of effectiveness. It is as effective as male and female surgical sterilization and implantable uterine devices, or IUD’s.” (abcnews.go.com)


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