600 UK women suffer ‘faulty’ contraceptive pregnancies

by admini on January 27, 2011

600 UK women suffer ‘faulty’ contraceptive pregnancies

Almost 600 British women fell pregnant after a contraceptive implant they were using failed to work.

That is the finding of health watchdog The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency which has revealed that 584 women using Implanon fell pregnant since the implant’s launch in 1999.

Reports of over 1,600 alleged instances of adverse reactions to the device have also suggested that there could be an issue of medical negligence relating to the product.

No win, no fee solicitors such as Claims Direct are experienced at helping innocent parties receive the compensation they need and deserve if medical negligence can be proved. If reports of the product causing scarring are true then many Implanon users might have good cause to seek a personal injury award.

Implanon is inserted under the skin of a woman’s arm by a doctor or nurse and the 4cm-long plastic rod implant is supposed to release hormones into the bloodstream which act as a contraceptive.

In the ten years that Implanon has been on the market, Department of Health statistics show that 1.4 million women have used the implant. This gives a 99.96 per cent success rate but for the women who fell pregnant this is little consolation.

One such woman is Kimberley from Devon who told Radio Four’s Today programme that she fell pregnant seven months after the implant was inserted (Implanon is supposed to act as a contraceptive for three years).

Like many implant users, the contraceptive appealed as an alternative to the worry of having to remember to take the Pill.

Kimberley said: “I had no idea I was pregnant until I was 31 weeks – it was a massive shock.”

There have been reports of administrators of the implant not realising that the pre-loaded applicator hadn’t released the implant. This might be true in Kimberley’s case as doctors have failed to find it to remove it although she believes it is still “floating, somewhere inside me” more than two years after it was fitted.

Kimberley is now the proud mother of a healthy one-year old child but other women have complained of traumatic abortions and relationship breakdowns as a result of unwanted ‘Implanon’ pregnancies.

Last year, manufacturer MSD replaced Implanon with Nexplanon; a product which is supposedly easier to insert.

Yet there is no evidence that the company has undertaken product recall action regarding Implanon.

A statement from MSD said: “If the implant is not inserted in accordance with the instructions and on the correct day, this may result in an unintended pregnancy. In addition, no contraceptive is 100 per cent effective.”

Contraception effectiveness rates

Implanon, if the figures are accurate, seems to have a 99.96 per cent accuracy rating but how does this compare to other forms of contraceptives?

According to sexual health specialist Marie Stopes, the combined pill contraceptive method has a 99 per cent effectiveness rate “if taken correctly”.

A contraceptive patch – which is placed on a woman’s arm, abdomen, buttocks or upper torso also has a 99 per cent effectiveness rate, except for women weighing 198 pounds or more when the figure falls to 92 per cent.

The IUD barrier method (also known as the coil) achieves a 98-99 per cent score, a little higher than the male condom’s “94-98 per cent”.

It is the withdrawal method which is the least effective form of contraception rated by Marie Stopes, as it has a failure rate which can be as high as 15 per cent.

 


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