Birth Control
Emergency Contraceptives

A closer look at the Norplant System
The Norplant System consists of six flexible capsules, made of Silastic.  Silastic is a form of silicone that has been used in a variety of medical applications for over 30 years.  The capsules contain a synthetic hormone, levonorgestrel (a progestin) that is also one of the active ingredients in many oral contraceptives used in the U.S. today.   Immediately after insertion of the Norplant System, a low, continuous dose of the hormone is released through the capsule walls into the body.

Removal of the Norplant System
The capsules must be removed at the end of 5 years.  They may be removed at any time before then if you want to stop using the Norplant System for any reason.   Removal generally takes longer than insertion, and may be slightly more difficult.

Just as for the insertion procedure, your health care provider will use a local anesthetic.  Under sterile condition, a small (1/8 inch) incision will be made, through which all six capsules will be removed.  If some of the capsules are more difficult to remove, an additional visit and incision may be required.

There have been reports of scarring, numbness, tingling, and arm pain following this procedure.

If you want to continue using the Norplant System, you may receive a new set of capsules at the same time the old set is removed.  The second set may be placed in the same arm, through the incision from which the earlier set was removed, or in the other arm.  If you do not want to continue using the Norplant System and do not want to become pregnant, make sure your health care provider recommends another contraceptive method.

Once the capsules are removed, the contraceptive effect ceases quickly and a woman can become pregnant at a rate similar to that of women who have not used the method.

Currently, the Norplant is not available from the manufacture.

(All information above has been taken directly from Wyeth-Ayerst’s pamphlet, “Facts About Norplant.”  This pamphlet along with more information about Norplant can be obtained from your local health department.

Other web sites with information about the Norplant System are....
Planned Parenthood
Health Education Associates
Health Square