Not considered appropriate for teens, but you should know about it.

This product was taken off the market in July 2002.

What is it? The Norplant System is a reversible, five year, low dose, progestin-only contraceptive. The Norplant System consists of six very small matchstick size capsules (made of silastic tubing) that are placed just under the skin of the upper arm.
Will this contraception work for me? Norplant may be particularly effective for women who can’t take estrogen, women who are seeking continuous, long-term contraception but do not want permanent sterilization, women who have had difficulty with other contraceptive methods.
How effective is it? The Norplant System is one of the most effective forms of contraception. The average annual pregnancy rate over five years is less than 1%. Norplant has undergone many years of research and testing. Through 1990, 500,000 women have used this method in seventeen countries where the Norplant System is in general use.
How long does the procedure take? After careful counseling with your health care provider, you may have the Norplant System placed under the skin of the upper arm through a small incision using local anesthesia. This is an office procedure which usually takes 10-15 minutes. It should be done within the first seven days of your menstrual cycle to assure that you are not pregnant. As long as the placement of the Norplant System occurs within this time period, you are protected from pregnancy within 24 hours. The IU Health Center requires a Pap smear within one year prior to insertion as well as a recheck ten days after insertion.
When should I have it removed? After five years (or earlier if you desire), you should return to your health care provider to have the Norplant System removed. The removal is similar to the insertion and usually takes 40-45 minutes, but may occasionally take longer or require two visits. Removal is particularly likely to be difficult if insertion of an implant was deep. After removal, if you wish, you can have a new set of capsules implanted for five more years of birth control.
Pros Highly effective method. You don’t have to worry about getting pregnant for five years. Allows for spontaneous sex.
Cons Ugly bumps in your arm. Scar tissue can form around implants making them hard to remove. Need a health care provider who is trained in the “Norplant System” to remove them. Many women complain of tenderness in the arm in the area of the implants.
Effectiveness Failure rate less than 1%
Most common side effect? The most common side effect is change in the menstrual bleeding pattern. Irregularities range from woman to woman and may include: prolonged menstrual bleeding, spotting between menstrual periods or no bleeding at all. These side effects tend to lessen after 6-9 months. Any side effects that may occur with birth control pills may also occur with Norplant including: depression, nervousness/anxiety, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, hair loss or excessive hair growth, headaches, weight gain, breast tenderness, acne and high blood pressure.
IMPORTANT Norplant does not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Use latex condoms for increased protection against the transmission of STDs including HIV.

Less health care providers are using Norplant since Depo-Provera and Lunelle have become more
popular and do NOT have to be ‘implanted’ into the body! Just an FYI.

Amy - Teen's Health Expert

By Amy - Teen's Health Expert

Discover the dedicated author behind Teen Health Secrets, an experienced expert committed to providing in-depth knowledge and guidance on various aspects of teen health, ensuring young individuals lead healthy, informed lives.