Steroids can be administered in at least five different ways: injectables; hormone-releasing intra-uterine devices (IUDs); implants; vaginal rings; and pills. Progestogens which are synthetic steroids, are used as the main bioactive substances. Different progestogens are effective for different periods of time. Progestins in daily oral pills are effective for 24 hours. The effectiveness of a progestogen can be prolonged by incorporating it in a sustained-release system that gradually releases the hormone; therefore they can be effective up to 5 years or more. Two progestogen-only injectables are widely available in the family planning programmes, (DMPA and NET-EN) and two combined injectables, Cyclofem (DMPA + EC), and Mesigyna (NET-EN + EV). The ring is placed by the woman in her vagina, where it gradually releases hormone. Implantable contraceptives are placed just under the skin on the inside of the woman's arm. Implant capsules release the progestogen at a slow, steady rate. There are three implantables available in the market: Implanon; Norplant; and Jadelle. They are effective for 1-5 years, but then must be replaced. Natural and synthetic progestogens were first added to IUDs in the early 1970s. The main problem of long-acting progestogens is the disruption of the menstrual cycle.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2002|