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Implant failures lead to unwanted pregnancies

(20 Posts)
nowwearefour Wed 05-Jan-11 12:47:53

This has scared me so much as it was meant to be the most reliable form of contraception and i nearly had one. I have not read the story but have seen it at a soft play centre as the main headline of other people's papers. Anyone know any mroe about this? I am SHOCKED.

Balsam Wed 05-Jan-11 12:56:51

I had one of these before having DCs and it was fine.

From what I've read this morning, a lot of the failures seem to come from the implant not being inserted properly. Seems like it's a bit tricky to do perhaps. They've since brought out a new one that's a bit easier to do.

Think if it's inserted correctly then it's no more unreliable than any other contraceptive method. 99% or thereabouts.

Poledra Wed 05-Jan-11 13:02:03

No contraceptive is 100% effective - the quoted average failure rate for Implanon is less than 1%. I cannot find anything other than media reports on this at the moment, and they suggest that at least some of the failures are actually because the implant has not been inserted correctly. I would be interested to see how many cases, of the seven in which the NHS has made a payout, are actually solely because of a pregnancy where the implant was inserted correctly, and which are because of pregnancy where the implant was not correctly inserted or where there has been physical damage caused by incorrect insertion.

Balsam Wed 05-Jan-11 13:09:16

I think there is a huge difference between being given a medicine that is 99% effective and it not working, and not being given the medicine correctly (i.e the implant not inserted properly). The first, that's the risk you take; the second, you should sue the arse off whoever put it in.

A lawyer on Jeremy Vine today said some of the women she represented never actually had the implant in! They just thought they did. How incompetent/negligent has a medical professional got to be to not notice whether the thing actually went into the arm or not. I have every sympathy with those women and they should sue away. And I'm not a fan of suing, generally speaking.

frgr Wed 05-Jan-11 13:13:00

i've had one of these in the past, they were great!

the media are being quite misleading in some of the things they are reporting, if you dig down and read beyond the hype they're really talking about FAILED insertions i.e. where the implant is still in the chamber, and hasn't actually been put in your body.

that's a massively different thing to having it put in and the implant failing to protect you. i think it's quite harmful of the media to make out it's one thing when it's not, really.

you wouldn't complain about the failure of a seatbelt to protect you if you'd not even buckled up, would you? grin

having said that, i'm shocked at the number of failed insertions, didn't the Dr/nurse notice?! and i wonder how many have failed from the same dr/nurse... it's fair enough to bring that all to account/let people know more checks are required/announce the new easier to insert option. that's good. but to play on the angle the media have chosen, that's my problem.

Poledra Wed 05-Jan-11 13:16:57

That's where I'm coming from, frgr. If you recall, Norplant (the predecessor to Implanon) was withdrawn in the UK as the insertion was very difficult and so people were reluctant to use it. Have untrained people been inserting this device?

I also have one, and it's great, but there is only one doctor in my local surgery who is qualified to insert, so you have to see her to get it done. I'm a little puzzled as to how you cannot know that it isn't there - I can feel mine just below the skin (the GP showed me how to find it, and suggested I check it was still in situ every so often). How could a doctor/nurse not notice that it wasn't there?

amberleaf Wed 05-Jan-11 13:31:28

"I'm a little puzzled as to how you cannot know that it isn't there - I can feel mine just below the skin (the GP showed me how to find it, and suggested I check it was still in situ every so often). How could a doctor/nurse not notice that it wasn't there?"

Thats what im thinking too? confused

Iklboo Wed 05-Jan-11 13:34:38

It's 600 failures over a period of 10 years too

nowwearefour Wed 05-Jan-11 13:49:22

gosh so basically people are now not going to use the implant when as long as inserted properly it is actually very effective indeed. thanks. i knew mumsnet would know enough about this to set minds at rest. but that does seem to be a lot inserted incorrectly...

cathbath Wed 05-Jan-11 14:02:23

I had Implanon fitted over a year ago (by an experienced doctor) and it's been fine. I can feel it under the skin so I know it's there. It's great just being able to forget about it day-to-day, and also not having to worry about stuff like sickness/diarrhoea and antibiotics (they don't lessen its effect as they do with the pill).

It's a shame that the media have taken this misleading and scaremongering approach. I've just googled it and seen headlines apparently calling for Implanon to be banned. There seems to be a backlash against the device (I wonder why?), whereas they should be investigating how some GPs/nurses have come to be doing this without proper training (that is the shocking thing).

I'd also like to see the figures on how the failures have occurred.

fartblossom Wed 05-Jan-11 20:09:12

I had the implant too and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it. Im terrible at remembering things like to take the pill everyday or to make an appointment for the injection every 3 months. But this I thought was great.

Now Ive been having an argument a discussion on FB about it. There are a few people saying "right Im off to get mine out ASAP" and I was the only one saying I loved it.

Right now Im TTCing and totally plan to go back on it as soon as I can.

I totally agree its scaremongering, but isnt that what the media does? angry This will just cost the NHS uneccessary money. I was told that they dont like to take it out as its expensive, also that only at the family planning clinic could I get it done in my area as its a difficult thing to do right.

My point was that no contracteptive is that good if used incorrectly.

grr to the media and to those who cant read the real stories behind the words wink

nowwearefour Wed 05-Jan-11 20:27:22

point taken. but i have mumsnet! (and i didnt buy a paper today, and wouldnt have bought the one most people seemed to be reading where i was!)

fartblossom Wed 05-Jan-11 22:30:14

I wasnt doing grr about anyone on here not reading the real stories behind the words, but the general public (well certain people on FB who I have seen) who seem to think that its a really bad contraceptive.

I was just pleased it wasnt just me who thought like this.

lindsey2712 Thu 06-Jan-11 11:30:18

I've been using the implant for 14 years. I started with Norplant and then Implanon. I think it's the most reliable thing ever and I'm not going to let this worry me.

Steph85 Thu 06-Jan-11 20:39:34

I'm on my 5 implanon and have loved every one of them, I went to my local family planning clinic a few weeks ago to have it removed because my and my partner are wanting to try for a baby, only to find put my GP has inserted it wrongly and too deeply into my muscle, i never checked this one as I thought it would be the same as the rest, now I have to be referred to another doctor to have it taken out in hospital. I'm quite gutted but it won't put me off having another one just what doctor will do it!!!

Cannondale Thu 06-Jan-11 20:42:58

No method of contraception is 100% effective, not even sterilisation (male or female). Although I don't know how many women have used Implanon in the last 10 years I bet the number is high enough to make 600 failures less than 1% of those using it. I wish the media would not publish scare stories such as this. When they published data about blood clot risk using the pill many women stopped taking it and became pregnant, which is a far higher blood clot risk than the very tiny risk for most people on the pill.

all4u Fri 07-Jan-11 09:14:41

This is a shocker - I and my sisters rely on the Mirena IUS and not had a problem for over a decade or heard of one. But there is no one solution for all as we are all different but it ought to do what it says on the tin...

trinitybleu Fri 07-Jan-11 14:47:58

Had mine for a couple of months but can't feel it so going to get it checked. I'm obese so it might be behind too much fat to feel! Had an injection a fortnight before so was defo covered til Xmas, and probably another fortnight after that...

If I could feel the implant, I wouldn't be worrying at all...

reikizen Fri 07-Jan-11 14:53:09

According to 'More or Less' on Radio 4 today, the implant is actually 3x more effective than male sterilization so pretty good. I think a failure rate of 0.03% was quoted so it is poor reporting (as usual) making a story out of nothing.

GrandmothernotsoGrey Sat 08-Jan-11 21:44:27

Yes - excellent piece on 'More or Less' yesterday. None of the media sources, including The Guardian come out well - it would be tragic if many more unwanted pregnancies result from women abandoning the implant. Link below for 'Listen Again' on Radio 4.

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