STORIES ABOUT IMPLANON
By: Nosipho Ntombela
Many young women have been introduced to a new contraceptive called Implanon (etonogestrel implant), which is implanted to their upper part of the arm.
According to Implanon-USA.com, implanon is a prescription medication for the prevention of pregnancy in women. It is a hormone-releasing birth control implant for used to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years.
It is a flexible plastic rod about the size of a match-stick that contains a progestin hormone called Etonogestrel.
Jabulile Ndlamlenze (26), from kwaMashu in Durban said that she had the transaction a few months ago and was not well for a short time.
“At the beginning I was dizzy and short tempered. I use to puke a lot. The nurse warned me that it was going to happening within the first six months. I was worried at first then after taking medication I was back to my old self.
I think it helped that I was expecting a reaction like every other medical treatment,” said Ndlamlenze.
Silindile Magubane (26) lost her baby while giving birth. Magubane was using a different contraceptive when her family planning nurse introduced her to implanon.
Magubane took the device as substitute for the Depo-Provera that she used to prevent.
For her it did not work because she fell pregnant the following month. Unfortunately by the time she realized her pregnancy, the device had already started working which created a lot of complications in her pregnancy.
“I went back to the hospital and they removed the device, but it was already too late.
I have never fallen pregnant while I was still using the injection. The nurses had no idea what went wrong, and they gave me termination pills to kill my baby but I refused. I took the pills home
with me, but my instincts and religion didn’t allow me to abort. I kept my pregnancy,” she said.
Lungelwa Mhlongo, a nurse at Marie Stopes clinic, who is trained to implant the device said that she believes that the device is very effective.
It works really well and there are no cases of pregnancy reported as yet because pregnancy tests are conducted before the device is
implanted, however she does not suppress the possibility.
“It might happen that she had unprotected intercourse the previous day, and when testing the test was negative only to find that she was pregnant. It’s only in that case the tests will not pick up immediately.
Another thing is that most women do not tell the truth about their sexual life, so it might happen that the egg was fertilized the previous day,” said Mhlongo.
Mhlongo said that in cases of pregnancy, the device should be removed immediately to ensure that the pregnancy is not occurring outside the womb.
“It might also happen that the device was not in place when the pregnancy occurred and in cases like these, women are advised to use other contraceptive methods such as condoms until the device is confirmed to be in place by the medical practitioner,” she added.
Women are advised not to use etonogestrel implant if they are pregnant or think that they may be pregnant, have or have had serious blood clots, have liver disease or a liver tumour, have unexplained vaginal bleeding, have breast cancer or any other cancer that is sensitive to progestin (a female hormone), now or in the past.