Objective: To determine which factors are associated with duration of use of a levonorgestrel implant (Norplant) for contraception in adolescents and young adults. Design: We retrospectively studied 144 young women (14 to 21 years of age) who chose a levonorgestrel contraceptive implant at Mayo Clinic Rochester between April 1990 and December 1993. Material and Methods: The following information was obtained at the time of insertion of the implant and from any follow-up visits: demographics, prior contraceptive experiences, frequency and management of complications, complications noted at removal of the implant, and subsequent contraceptive choice. The duration of use was examined. Results: Of the 144 young women who underwent insertion of a Norplant system, 75 telephoned or made a medical appointment because of implant-related side effects. During the follow-up period, 64 patients had the Norplant system removed. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of the probability of the Norplant system remaining in place for at least 12 months was 83% and for at least 24 months was 63%. Duration of Norplant use was not found to differ with respect to age, prior contraceptive use, or timing of insertion, but it was significantly shorter among those with a prior pregnancy than in those who had never been pregnant. Conclusion: These findings suggest that a group of young women who are likely to continue use of a contraceptive implant (with or without treatment for side effects) are those who have never been pregnant.
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