The matchstick sized implant is inserted just below the skin of the upper arm and is designed to slowly release the hormone progesterone and if properly inserted is said to prevent pregnancy for a period of three years.
However the Governments Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has received over 1,600 complaints concerning the device. Many from doctors themselves who complained that the implant was difficult to insert and could not be checked once inserted, as the device could not be detected by x-rays.
The contraceptive plastic rod known as Implanon is being held responsible for at least 584 unwanted pregnancies that have been reported to the MHRA but it is thought that this figure could be much higher as many women will not have complained about the device failing.
The NHS has so far paid out £200,000 in compensation to women who have suffered physically and emotionally after having the implant fitted.
These included one woman who was left traumatised by her unwanted pregnancy, which eventually led to the breakdown of her marriage and psychological problems after she had an abortion. Another woman was left permanently scarred when the device was inserted too close to muscle tissue.
A spokesperson for Implanon’s manufacturer MSD stated that the company remained confident about the efficiency and safety of the implant, adding that no contraceptive could be 100% effective.
Implanon and Depo Provera – both containing synthetic progesterone are also known as sexual castration drugs and Depo at least is used in prisons on male sex offenders. What if these “birth control” devices were marketed for sexual castration – would women take them then?