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06 / 01 / 2011 - Contraceptive implant alert: Hundreds of women fall pregnant after birth control fails
Many of the hundreds of women who became pregnant after a contraceptive implant failed, decided to have abortion. This story only goes to show the link between contraception and abortion. No contraception is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy so when it fails, the inevitable next step is abortion. One of the women who became pregnant and underwent an abortion said the trauma had led to the collapse of her marriage. She suffered nightmares for months after having the abortion. Nightmares and relationship problems are symptoms of "Post abortion syndrome". This shows that abortion not only kills an unborn child but causes tremendous psychological and emotional harm to women.
Hundreds of women have become pregnant after a long-term contraceptive implant failed, it emerged last night.
Even more have complained that they were left injured or scarred by the rod inserted into their arm, which was supposed to protect them against conceiving for three years.
The NHS has had to pay compensation to women hurt when the implants were inserted and seven women who were left traumatised by unexpectedly becoming pregnant have received payouts totalling more than £200,000 – an average of more than £28,000 each.
A lawyer revealed that many of the women affected had suffered ‘psychological difficulties’, had miscarriages or decided to undergo abortions after the implants went wrong.
One woman who became pregnant and underwent an abortion said the trauma had led to her marriage ending.
The fiasco involving the implant, called Implanon, is one of the worst mass contraceptive failures to hit the NHS in living memory.
A total of 584 women who had the hormone-filled rod inserted in their arms have reported unwanted pregnancies to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency – the Government’s drugs and medical devices watchdog.
But the total could be far higher, as many women may not have complained after becoming pregnant and either undergoing abortions or giving birth.
The MHRA received 1,607 complaints about the implant going wrong, some from doctors deeply concerned that the devices are difficult to insert and that it is impossible to check if they are correctly installed because they are invisible to X-rays.
Implanon’s manufacturer MSD, a subsidiary of global pharmaceutical giant Merck, has now replaced it with an updated product called Nexplanon, which has a new pre-loaded applicator and can be detected by X-ray or CT scan.
How the implant can go wrong
However, it has not recalled the existing stock of Implanon, meaning women are still being given it.
The £90 device is a flexible rod the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. It gradually releases the hormone progesterone which stops the ovaries from releasing eggs and makes the womb less receptive to fertilised eggs.
It provides protection against pregnancy for up to three years and properly inserted it is 99.95 per cent effective among all users, compared with 99.7 per cent for the Pill.
But investigations showed in some cases the implant was not released from the pre-loaded applicator and never inserted into the arm of the patient. In other women it was delivered too deep to work properly.
One in four women who go to family planning clinics get long-term contraceptive implants. They are especially popular with teenagers, with 10 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds saying they prefer an implant because they do not have to remember to take a pill.Around 80,000 women use implants of the same type as Implanon.
Last night a woman who had the implant, named only as Lara to protect her identity, told of her trauma when she later discovered she was pregnant.
‘I feel very very disturbed – hitting my head on the table,’ she told Channel 4 news. ‘Weeping like a young child. My mind was so disturbed – thinking why is this happening to me?’
Lara’s marriage collapsed and she suffered nightmares for months after having a termination.
London-based Anthony Gold Solicitors is representing several women with claims for personal loss and damage.
Partner Stephanie Prior said: ‘I have clients who fell pregnant as they were unaware that the Implanon device had not been inserted into their arm and they suffered psychological difficulties as a consequence of falling pregnant and later miscarrying or having to make the difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy.'
Another woman, Keisha White, has been left permanently scarred after the implant was inserted too near her muscle.
A spokesman for MSD said the firm was confident about the ‘efficacy and safety’ of Implanon. She 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.
‘MSD encourages consumers to speak with their healthcare providers if they have any questions about contraceptive options and to report any adverse experience associated with any MSD medication.’
Source: Jenny Hope, Daily Mail