Norplant and Norplant-2 have been available for use by Finnish women since 1984 and 1986, respectively. The objective of this study was to explore Norplant users' experiences of insertions, removals and medical treatments.
A questionnaire was sent to women who had received Norplant or Norplant-2 implants one to two years earlier (n = 262) in normal clinical settings; the response rate was 79%.
At insertion, problems were experienced by 9% and at least some pain by 23% of women. During the first year 20% of all users (14% of Norplant and 33% of Norplant-2 users) had their implants removed. Problems were experienced at removal by 33% of women and pain was experienced by 40%; nevertheless most users were satisfied with the device. Findings were similar for the two types of Norplant. Forty-two percent of the women had received minipills containing levonorgestrel before Norplant insertions in an attempt to assess Norplant's suitability, and 8% had received drugs for adverse effects caused by Norplant.
Studies including perspectives of Norplant users and the whole lifespan of Norplant (including removal) should be conducted in all clinical settings where Norplant is provided.