Implantable Single-rod Etonorgestrel-ENG

Implanon is a single-rod progestin implant that will be available in 2007. It is inserted through a small ¼” skin incision (generally the inside of the upper arm near the bicep) and allows for the slow release of a progestin (no estrogen)—etonogestrel. Protestion against pregnancy occurs within the first 24 hours and fertility returns rapidly after removal of the rod. There have been rare failures reported with this device. The manufacturer claims that 1 pregnancy will occur for every 300 women using this device per year—this compares very favorably with the intrauterine device, the patch, the ring or the birth control pill.

The major “side effect” is abnormal menstrual bleeding or spotting. Since the device is relatively new it will take some time before it can be adequately evaluated by women and their health care providers.