Progestogen-only implantable contraceptives are used by increasing numbers of women worldwide. This review outlines the evidence accumulated on these methods to date. Reviews of toxicological evaluations, clinical trials, endocrinological, epidemiological and social science studies, as well as operations research and economic evaluation were undertaken in preparation for an Expert Consultation convened by the World Health Organization in 2001. At the meeting, these reviews were further evaluated and the research results summarized in this consensus paper. A large body of evidence demonstrates the high contraceptive effectiveness and safety of the 5-year levonorgestrel-releasing implants Norplant and Jadelle. Information on the 3-year etonogestrel-releasing implant Implanon is more limited, but suggests that this implant has a high contraceptive effectiveness and a satisfactory safety profile. Information available on levonorgestrel-releasing implants manufactured and approved in China suggests that their clinical performance is satisfactory, but was insufficient to allow their full safety assessment. For all implants, there is insufficient information on their use by women with medical conditions. Provision of contraceptive implants requires good quality family planning services and specific provider training.
- Progestogen-only contraceptive
- WHO consensus paper