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I Want to Know About Norplant

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,

 

So me and my boy friend are going to have sex we have talked about it and both of us are getting tested for any STD’s and we are going to use condoms and birth control. But I want to know about the Norplant birth control that goes in your arm.  How well does it work? And what are the major side effects and its price tag?

Signed: I Want to Know About Norplant

Dear I Want to Know About Norplant,

 

Norplant is a birth control method used by women. Six match-sized capsules are surgically implanted underneath the skin of the underside of the upper arm. The capsules contain a hormone called "progestin," which slowly releases into the bloodstream and prevents pregnancy for up to 5 years.

 

The Norplant System is not considered appropriate for teens. Norplant is no longer available for use in the United States. It was voluntarily removed from the market in July 2002. According to the manufacturer, Wyeth, Norplant systems with lot numbers beginning in October 1999 and expiring in 2004 did not contain enough of the progestin hormone to adequately prevent pregnancy. Doctors were told to stop providing Norplant to their patients. Those who had already received these defective Norplant lots were told to use a back-up barrier method of birth control, such as condoms. On December 31, 2002 Wyeth announced that they were voluntarily recalling Norplant permanently. While the company claimed the recall was due to limitations in component supplies, there were also Norplant side effect concerns at that time. Those side effects included:

 

·         Irregular menstrual periods or no periods at all

·         Headaches

·         Nervousness

·         Depression

·         Dizziness

·         Acne

·         Changes in appetite

·         Weight gain

·         Excessive growth of facial and body hair

 

Here are some of the advantages of Norplant:

·         very effective

·         periods may be lighter

·         may decrease menstrual cramps or pain

·         may help control the pain associated with endometriosis

·         can be rapidly reversed

·         you don't have to interrupt sex

·         the woman controls this method of birth control

·         can remain in place for five years

·         you don't have to remember a daily pill

 

And some disadvantages:

·         expensive (around 500 dollars)

·         does not protect against sexually transmitted infections

·         may cause irregular bleeding

·         must be removed at a clinic or by a doctor

·         an infection in your arm is possible

 

Depending on your age and where you live most likely the Norplant system is not a viable option for you. When you meet with your doctor to discuss birth control option, he/she will go over the various methods of protection and you can decide which one suits you the best. If you would like to learn more the advantages, disadvantages and effectiveness of many other forms of birth control, click on Updated Birth Control Information.

 

 

 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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