NHS Lothian success in use of long-lasting contraceptives

THE number of contraceptive implants in use in Lothian has dramatically increased, according to new figures published today.

Promoting the use of implants is a key part of NHS Lothian’s Sexual Health Strategy.

The numbers of Implanon implants for women have increased to more than 3,000 in 2007, compared to 704 in 2003/4.

Use of coils, or intrauterine devices, increased by almost 50% to 1496, while the use of the Mirena system has more than doubled.

Dr Ailsa Gebbie, Consultant Gynaecologist at the Family Planning Service, NHS Lothian, said:

“Long lasting forms of contraception such as implants and intrauterine contraception offer ‘fit and forget’ contraception, which does away with the need to take a pill on a daily basis. It’s very encouraging to see these numbers increasing.
However, it is important to know that these methods don’t protect against sexually transmitted infections, and that for some people using condoms as well is recommended to prevent sexually transmitted infections.”
The Mirena system works by releasing a low dose of the hormone progestogen into the womb, which also makes a woman’s periods very light.
The Implanon implant involves the insertion of a small rod containing progestogen under the skin of the upper arm and lasts for three years.