A five-year clinical trial of levonorgestrel silastic implants (Norplant)

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      Silastic implants containing the progestin, levonorgestrel, were tested as a long-term contraceptive system in 101 women. During five full years of use, no pregnancies occurred. The 5-year continuation rate was 54%. Menstrual irregularities were the most frequent reason for termination of use but only during the first year. More than half of the terminations for this reason were in the first year. Some of the subjects elected to continue use of the implants beyond 5 years, allowing release rate data to be obtained through 6 years.
      From the second through the sixth year of use, the implants delivered a constant 30 micrograms per day of levonorgestrel to the subjects, and even after six years 57% of the original steroid content remained in the capsules.
      Return of fertility following removal was essentially immediate and not related to time of use. Medical reasons for removal were infrequent and no pattern was discernible.
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