Norplant, a new contraceptive that has become common in the family recently, is an effective contraceptive with the annual pregnancy rate of less than 1% in five years. Apart from a few side effects such as acne, weight gain, irregular bleeding and other menstrual changes, it is one of the most effective and recommended family method. It comprises six match-stick size silicone capsules that are inserted in a woman’s upper arm through minor surgery. It will then start releasing a small amount of progestin into the bloodstream over five years. It was developed to help provide an alternative way of family planning for those who may find the already existing methods not suitable.

It is not uncommon to find certain types of contraceptives not suitable to individuals’ particular needs or life’s circumstances. This has made it important to develop a range of safe contraceptive options. The hormone works by inhibiting ovulation to cause eggs not to be produced regularly, and causes the cervical mucus to thicken, making it hard for the sperm to reach the egg. There are other ways it may perform contraceptive function though not yet proven. Some of the drawbacks of this type of family planning are its inability to protect against STDs and HIV AIDS.

For maximum protection, a condom is a better option. Other side effects may include dizziness, nervousness, depression, nausea, skin rash, ovary enlargement and in some cases, excessive growth of body or facial hair. There have also been cases of breast discharge, vaginal discharge, cervical inflammation, abdominal discomfort, muscle and skeletal pain. Although most of the side effects are only reported ones, there is no research to confirm their relationship with Norplant. There doesn’t exist a biological reason to explain the relationship between the Norplant and those reported side effects since they may be underlying signs of other medical conditions.

The only side effect that is known to persist with Norplant, is the menstrual irregularity. These bleeding irregularities are caused by continuous hormone release. Whereas oral contraceptive pills, estrogen and progestin are taken for the first three weeks and then withdrawn in the last week of the cycle, Norplant doesn’t cut off its release into the bloodstream of the hormone progestin until it is removed at the expiry of five years. That one week break with pills helps the body to continue with its normal menstrual cycle. For those who are more involved with their weight, Norplant may not be a good option since it can contribute to weight gain.

Those with weak hearts should monitor their continued use of this contraceptive because it is known to exert too much anxiety on your heart which is unhealthy. Should you notice signs such as nervousness or weight gain, it is good if you rethink your use of this hormone. Remember, it is a hormone which means it may alter how your body naturally functions. Anything that can cause your body to alter how it functions can render some of your body organs inactive which is unhealthy. Your body should be able to perform its functions without external help if you want to keep it healthy, therefore anything that alters its internal clock can aggravate a serious condition. 



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