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Women report falling pregnant while using Implanon contraceptive

Hundreds of women in the UK, and over 30 in Ireland, report unwanted pregnancies while using implanted contraceptive.

Image: Katie Collins/PA Wire

WOMEN HAVE BEEN REPORTING unwanted pregnancies while using the contraceptive Implanon.

The contraceptive is inserted as a small plastic tube into the patient’s arm, and is designed to regularly release hormones to prevent pregnancy for three years.

The Irish Medicines Boards says it received 32 reports relating to unwanted pregnancies since Implanon was licenced for use in Ireland and the UK in 1999, RTÉ reports.

In the UK, 584 women reported unwanted pregnancies while they were using Implanon. Channel 4 News reports that more than 1,000 women have complained to the UK medicines watchdog about the contraceptive, with a number of those complaints relating to scarring and problems due to incorrect fittings.

The NHS has paid out settlements to several women reaching almost £2o0,000 (€235,500) in total.

The BBC reports that Implanon manufacturer MSD said that no contraceptive was 100% effective, and that the success of the implant was “a correct and carefully performed subdermal insertion of the implant in accordance with the product instructions”.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service says that if women using Implanon can feel the device under their skin and are within the three-year timeframe of its use, they have no reason to get the device checked, but says “if you cannot feel it, or if you are having any problems with it, do get it seen. An ultrasound or x-ray will quickly establish whether the device is there.”

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