Norplant is a new method of contraception recently approved for use in
the United States.  It consists of six flexible capsules filled with
Levonorgetrel [progesterone] that are inserted just beneath the skin of the
non-dominant upper arm.  Once inserted, the Norplant is slightly, or not at
all visible,and it does not interfere with one's ability to exercise or to
carry out daily activities.  The levonorgestrel is released on a daily basis
in minute quantities, and the Nrplant device is effective for up to five
years.  At the end of the five year period, or at any time before that, the
Norplant device can be removed in a manner similar to that of the insertion

Norplant should be inserted during a menstrual period or no later than the
seventh day of the menstrual cycle.  The procedure is not painful, is
considered a routine office procedure, and requires no more than about 30
minutes.  There will be some bruising of the arm as a consequence of the
insertion; the bruise usually will completely resolve within one week.

     Contraceptive protection is reached approximately 24 hours after
insertion.  Contraception is achieved by preventing cwulation, thickening of
the cervical mucous, and/or decreasing the thickness of the
endometrium[uterine lining].
As with other hormonal contraceptives, Norplant provides a very effective
means of contraception; however, it does not offer any protection against
sexually transmitted diseases.

     Currently, Norplant is the most effective means of reversible
contraception.  Studies have shown that the pregnancy rate is 0.6 per 100
users at the end of the first year, and it is 1.5 per 100 users at the end of
five years.  As with other hormonal contraceptives, the effectiveness of
Norplant may be decreased by the interaction with some medications such as,
barbiturates, Dilantin, INH, Tegretol, and Rifampin.


1.   Liver disease/tumors
2.   Breast cancer
3.   Thrombophlebitis
4.   Thromboembolic disease [blood clots]
5.   Migraine headaches - resistant to treatment

     The most common side effect is a change in the frequency and the amount
of menstrual bleeding.  Usually, the number of days of bleeding increase,
while the actual amount per day decreases.  Most bleeding irregularities
revert to normal or decrease in severity within six to twelve months.
Other side effects are rare because of the low dose of levonoryestrel that is
released daily.  However, they include -
1.   Ovarian cyst development
2.   Headache
3.   Weight gain
4.   Breast tenderness
5.   Nausea

If you are interested in learning more about this method of contraception, you
are encouraged to make an appointment with one of the physicians.  The
Norplant device must be ordered from the SHS pharmacy; the cost is about
375.00 dollars; you must pay in full before insertion; there is no charge for
the actual insertion procedure.

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