Reassurance offered over implant concerns

HEALTH experts are offering reassurance to women in Scarborough and across the region following national reports of failings in a commonly used contraceptive implant.

Around 580 women in England using the implant known as ‘Implanon’ are reported to have become pregnant since its introduction 11 years ago.

Dr Myra Holbrook, clinical lead for Family Planning and Reproductive Sexual Health for York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’ve had a sharp increase in calls from local women who are worried about the effectiveness of their implant having seen the story in the national media.

“I think it’s really important to stress that we’re talking about very small numbers of women who have become pregnant while using the implant, and some of these cases were down to the device not being fitted properly.

“We’ve had no reports of this in North Yorkshire and York.

“If you are concerned about your implant, it may reassure you to feel your arm where the implant has been inserted as you can usually feel a slender rod which sits under your skin on the inside of your arm.

“If you are unable to feel your implant this could be for a variety of reasons but if you are concerned contact your local sexual health clinic or GP who will be offer further advice. “

In 2010, Implanon was replaced with a new, easier to insert implant called Nexplanon.

Dr Holbrook continued: “Both types of implant are equally as effective, the only difference is the applicator used to insert the implant into your arm.

“Both implants have a failure rate of less than one percent - making them an extremely effective form of contraception.”

For more information about sexual health, contraception and for details of sexual health clinics in North Yorkshire and York go to the YorSexualHealth website at