Parents furious as 13-year-old daughters given contraceptive implants without their knowledge or consent

Not sure what is more upsetting – the government being allowed to do this in the first…. or the objectified picture of a young beautiful girl passively lying on the table while having this synthetic implant inserted under her skin.

Mail Online

Parents furious as 13-year-old girls given contraceptive implants at school without their knowledge

By Sophie Borland
Last updated at 4:09 PM on 8th February 2012

  • Devices temporarily prevent pregnancy by releasing hormones into the blood
  • In 2011, 1,700 girls aged 13/14 were fitted with implants
  • Under ‘patient confidentiality’ rules, school staff are banned from seeking permission of parents beforehand

The contraceptive implant Nexplanon is 4cm long and is inserted under the skin. A parent was outraged after it was implanted in her 13-year-old's arm .

Nurses insert devices into their arms which temporarily prevent pregnancy by releasing hormones into the blood.

Last year 1,700 girls aged 13 and 14 were fitted with implants, while 800 had injections which have the same effect.

The 2010/11 NHS figures also show that 3,200 15-year-old girls were fitted with implants, and 1,700 had injections.

But under strict ‘patient confidentiality’ rules, staff are banned from seeking the permission of parents beforehand – or even informing them afterwards.

Not all the girls would have had the procedures at school. Some may have been treated at family planning clinics or a GP surgery.

But MPs and campaigners say the scheme is morally wrong and violates parents’ right to protect their children.

Both forms of contraception can bring on unpleasant side-effects including weight gain, depression, acne and irregular periods.

The jabs have also been linked to bone-thinning, although experts say fractures are unlikely if they are used only for a short time.

The implants and injections are being offered to girls in nine secondary schools and three sixth form colleges in Southampton under a scheme run by NHS Solent. The sexual health clinics also offer other forms of contraception, advice and tests for infections.

The trust introduced the scheme in 2009 to tackle high rates of teenage pregnancy, which are among the worst in the country.

It is not known how many other areas are operating similar policies, but in 2008 the Department of Health wrote to 21 authorities with high rates of teenage pregnancy, including Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Rotherham, Nottingham and Peterborough, urging them to increase the uptake of implants and jabs.

The implants last for three years before they need replacement. Injections are effective for up to three months.

One mother whose 13-year-old daughter was given an implant at a Southampton school said: ‘I feel really angry. I agree that teaching teenagers about sexual health and contraception is very important but this is a step too far.

Read More about Nexplanon here

This medication is used to prevent pregnancy. It is a thin plastic rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin by a health care professional. The rod slowly releases etonogestrel into the body over a 3-year period. The rod must be removed after 3 years and can be replaced if continued birth control is desired. The rod can be removed at any time by a trained health care professional if birth control is no longer desired or there are side effects. It does not contain any estrogen. Etonogestrel (a form of progestin) is a hormone that prevents pregnancy by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) and by changing the womb and cervical mucus to make it more difficult for an egg to meet sperm (fertilization) or for the fertilized egg to attach to the wall of the womb (implantation).

This medication may not work as well in women who are very overweight or those taking certain drugs. (See also Drug Interactions section.) Discuss your birth control options with your doctor.

Using this medication does not protect you or your partner against sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., HIV, gonorrhea).

Nausea, stomach cramping/bloating, dizziness, headache, breast tenderness, acne, hair loss, weight gain, and vaginal irritation/discharge may occur. Pain, bruising, numbness, infection, and scarring may occur at the site where the rod is placed. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly.

Your periods may be early or late, shorter or longer, heavier or lighter than normal. You may also have some spotting between periods, especially during the first several months of use. If bleeding is prolonged (more than 8 days) or unusually heavy, contact your doctor. If you miss 2 periods in a row, contact your doctor for a pregnancy test.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

The rod must be removed after 3 years. This is usually a simple procedure done in your doctor’s office. Rarely (e.g., if the rod has been placed too deeply or can’t be felt), the rod may require surgery to remove.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: depression, unwanted facial/body hair.

This medication may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) problems from blood clots (e.g., pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack). Seek immediate medical attention if you experience: sudden shortness of breath, chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion, coughing up blood, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, tingling/weakness/numbness in the arms/legs, headaches that are different from those you may have experienced in the past (e.g., headaches with other symptoms such as vision changes/lack of coordination, existing migraines becoming worse, sudden/very severe headaches), slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, vision problems/changes.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: severe stomach/abdominal/pelvic pain, lumps in the breast, unusual tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US –

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.