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Contraceptive implants

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 22 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1555
  1. David R Bromham
  1. Senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF

    Users lose out when misleading information limits choice

    No single contraceptive method exists that meets all preferences, and a wide choice is therefore important in maintaining contraceptive cover and continuation.1 This is reflected in NHS advice that family planning outlets should provide all methods,2 as well as in public interest in research leading to new methods.3 Unfortunately, incomplete or inaccurate information from any source may contribute to negative impressions of a method and thereby limit choices further. Norplant, a slow release progestogen implant that offers many advantages to users, is one method of contraception currently at risk of such treatment.

    Norplant contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestogen prescribed to millions of women over two decades; 15 preparations are currently licensed for contraception and hormone replacement in Britain. Daily dosages of 75-250 µg occur in combined oral contraceptive pills and 30-75 µg in progestogen only pills. Users achieve peak blood concentrations in excess of 2.5 nmol/l.4 …

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