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Implanon is a hormonal contraceptive for women that is implanted under the skin in the upper arm. It looks a lot like a match stick, and is implanted during a short intervention in a doctor's office. The manufacturers say that the device can prevent pregnancy for up to three years. But nearly 600 UK women got pregnant with Implanon, the British Guardian reports. And many others complained about scarring, nausea, and other problems. If you were thinking about having Implanon fitted, perhaps you should think twice?

National Health Service trusts collected 1,600 reports that reported 2,888 adverse reactions to the popular contraceptive, the Guardian report said. In these reports, 584 unwanted pregnancies were included. As much as 200,000 (that is $331,000!) was offered in compensation in seven of the most serious cases of device failure. One South London woman told a British national television station about her experience when she fell pregnant despite having Implanon, and had to decide about abortion: "I feel very, very disturbed hitting the head on the table. Crying, weeping again I wasn't happy, not feeling well. Your mind is disturbed my mind was so disturbed thinking, why is this happening to me?" One lawyer commented: "I have clients who fell pregnant as they were unaware that the Implanon device had not been inserted into their arm and they suffered psychological difficulties as a consequence of falling pregnant and later miscarrying or having to make the difficult decision to terminate."

What does the manufacturer have to say about this? Apparently, they commented that no contraceptive is a 100 percent effective. While it is true that there are always chances of getting pregnant on birth control, the other side effects also seem extremely disturbing. After 11 years of being on the market, manufacturers have now replaced Implanon with a newer version called Nexplanon under pressure of a British government agency. The new device was designed with easier insertion in mind, and can also be detected by x-ray so that correct placement can be verified.

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