Management of etonogestrel subdermal implant–related bleeding

Petra M. Casey, Margaret E. Long, Linda B. Drozdowicz, Mary L. Marnach, Amy L. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine removal rates for unacceptable bleeding in etonogestrel subdermal implant (ESI) users treated with reassurance alone as well as in those receiving reassurance plus medical interventions including doxycycline and ibuprofen, and to compare removal rates between ESI users treated with reassurance alone with those receiving the medical interventions listed above in addition to reassurance. STUDY DESIGN: Medical records of 391 women receiving ESI for contraception within the period June 2007–April 2011 were abstracted for patient characteristics and interventions including reassurance, doxycycline, and ibuprofen. Removal rates were compared between intervention groups using the χ2 test and multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Contact for bleeding occurred in 128 women (32.7%). Of those, 83 women (21.2% of entire cohort) requested removal for bleeding (median, 381 days; range, 29–1,078 days). Of 53 women receiving reassurance alone, 40 (75.5%) requested removal, whereas fewer (15 of 33 [45.5%]) women receiving reassurance plus doxycycline requested removal (p=0.005), even after adjusting for prior contraception use and body mass index at ESI insertion (p=0.006). Of 10 women receiving ibuprofen and 19 women receiving doxycycline plus ibuprofen, 7 (70.0%) and 11 (57.9%), respectively, requested removal for bleeding. CONCLUSION: Reassurance plus doxycycline is associated with lower removal rates for ESI-related bleeding than is reassurance alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-312
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Contraception
  • Contraceptive implant
  • Contraceptive implant removal
  • Etonogestrel subdermal implant
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Vaginal bleeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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