Subdermal contraceptive implants

Octavio Peralta, Soledad Diaz, Horacio Croxatto

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

34 Citas (Scopus)


Subdermal contraceptive implants involve the delivery of a steroid progestin from polymer capsules or rods placed under the skin. The hormone diffuses out slowly at a stable rate, providing contraceptive effectiveness for 1-5 years. The period of protection depends upon the specific progestin and the type of polymer. Advantages of progestin implants include long term contraceptive action without requiring the user's or provider's attention, low dose of highly effective contraception without the use of estrogen, and fertility is readily reversible after the removal of implants. The levonorgestrel implant Norplant R system is the only one that has been approved for distribution. The contraceptive efficacy of Norplant is the highest observed amongst the most effective methods with an annual pregnancy rate of 0.2 during the first and second year and 1.1 on the fifth year. Menstrual problems are the main reason for the discontinuation of Norplant and 9% of women stopped using it during the first year of treatment. Other implants are still under development trying to simplify the method by reducing the number of units and to introduce other progestins that may minimize side effects. Norplant-2 was designed to release the same dose of progestin from only two covered rods. Evaluation of 1400 women enrolled, indicates that over 2 years the cumulative pregnancy rate is below 0.5 per 100 women. There are three single implants under development: Nestorone, 3-Keto-desogestrel and Uniplant that are expected to be effective for 1-2 years. Phase II clinical trials with Nestorone have been completed and no pregnancies have been observed in 1570 woman-months of use. Bleeding irregularities occurred in 20-30% of the women but there were only four terminations because of bleeding problems. A multricentric study is ongoing with a newly designed 3-keto-desogestrel implant named Implanon, which releases approx. 60 μg/day of the hormone. The objectives of this study are to assess contraceptive efficacy, safety and acceptability of Implanon. Another multricentric study is ongoing with Uniplant, which releases nomegestrol acetate with a duration of action for only 1 year. The objectives of the trial are to study the endocrine profile of Uniplant users and to evaluate the efficacy and acceptability of the method.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)223-226
Número de páginas4
PublicaciónJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
EstadoPublicada - 1995

Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus

  • Bioquímica
  • Biología celular
  • Bioquímica clínica
  • Endocrinología
  • Biología molecular
  • Medicina molecular
  • Endocrinología, diabetes y metabolismo


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