Definition of Norplant contraceptive

Norplant contraceptive: Implantable progestin in the form of Norplant was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for contraception in 1990 and the newer Norplant 2 was approved in 1996 for contraception. It is no longer available in the United States.

Made up of matchstick-sized rubber rods, this contraceptive device is surgically implanted under the skin of the woman's upper arm, where it steadily releases a contraceptive substance (a progestin hormone called levonorgestrel).

The six-rod Norplant provides protection for up to five years (or until it is removed), while the two-rod Norplant 2 protects for up to three years.

Norplant failures are rare but are higher with increased body weight (in heavier women).

Some women may experience inflammation or infection at the site of the implant. Other side effects include menstrual cycle changes, weight gain, and breast tenderness.


Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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