Reasons for Discontinuation of Implanon (Long-Acting Contraceptive Method) among Young Women in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa: A Cross-Sectional Study

Patricia Khungelwa Mrwebi, Daniel Ter Goon, Eyitayo Omolara Owolabi, Oladele V. Adeniyi, Eunice P. Seekoe, Anthony Idowu Ajayi

Abstract

Early discontinuation of implanon, a long acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) among reproductive age women in South Africa is a serious public health concern. The aim of this study was to examine the reasons for discontinuation of implanon while still in need of contraception among its previous users. This descriptive cross-sectional study involved 189 consecutively selected participants in two large family planning clinics in Buffalo Metropolitan Municipality, East London, South Africa. The mean duration of use was 11.2±7.1 months. Side effects such as heavy bleeding, severe headache and painful arm were the main reasons for discontinuation of implanon. Few participants reported wrong positioning (3.2%) and desire for more pregnancies (4.3%) as reasons for discontinuation. Surprisingly, 5.3% participants got pregnant while on implanon, warranting discontinuation. The side effects of implanon are the reason for early discontinuation of implanon among women who still need contraception. Pre-insertion counselling should empower women towards making informed decision on discontinuation and transition to other options.

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