HOW does a Norplant work? By releasing small amounts of progestin (a hormone) into the bloodstream, just like Depo-Provera. This hormone stops the ovaries from releasing eggs. Like the birth control pill, Norplant thickens the mucus at the cervix (opening to the uterus) which prevents sperm from entering the uterus, fertilizing an egg and causing a pregnancy.
HOW IS a Norplant USED? Six soft thin capsules containing progestin hormone are inserted under the skin of a woman's upper arm by a trained medical person. The capsules can stay in place for five years. Insertion takes 15-20 minutes. Removal takes about 45 minutes.
Benefits to using a Norplant: Norplant is easy to use. It doesn't interrupt sex (that means if you are about to have sex you don't have to stop and use this form of birth control before you can continue). Norplant is an extremely effective method of birth control. It may be used by some women who are unable to use the Pill because of side effects or risk factors to their health.
Concerns connected to using a Norplant: In some women, the capsules can be seen under the skin. Menstrual flow patterns may change, especially in the first year. Insertion does require minor surgery. The capsules must be inserted and removed by a trained medical person. Possible side effects using Norplant includes: headaches, mood changes, weight gain/loss, acne, sore breasts, nausea. These tend to go away after 3-12 months.
Effectiveness. Norplant is 99.8% effective in preventing pregnancy. It has only a .2% failure rate. That means in a year, for every thousand women using Norplant, 2 of them will get pregnant.
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