Send to

Choose Destination
Contraception. 2013 Nov;88(5):636-40. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2013.05.014. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

"I think it depends on the body, with mine it didn't work": explaining young women's contraceptive implant removal.

Author information

University of Greenwich, Eltham, UK. Electronic address:



Our study was conducted to learn more about why some young women (under 24) request "early" removal of the subdermal contraceptive implant (implant).


A qualitative study in which 20 young women were interviewed in-depth, along with nine health providers of the implant. This paper concentrates on the findings from the interviews with young women.


Overwhelmingly, the reason given for removal was intolerable side effects, the most common being bleeding irregularities. Other hormonal side effects mentioned were mood swings, headaches and weight gain; and it was often a combination of factors that brought participants to a "tipping point" at which their negative experiences outweighed the positive attributes of the implant. Many participants felt that they had not been sufficiently warned about all possible side effects, and some were frustrated by delays encountered after they requested removal.


Women need to be made aware of all possible side effects and be given more support once the implant is in place. In supporting women's contraceptive choice, clinicians need to accept that some women are unable to tolerate the implant and that encouraging retention without dealing with distressing side effects may be counterproductive.


Contraceptive discontinuation; Hormonal contraception; Implanon; LARC; Nexplanon; Subdermal contraceptive implant

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center