Contraceptive Implants: Getting the Facts Straight

Contraceptive implants: getting the facts straight

A week after the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on the Department of Health

(DOH) from procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing or administering, advertising and promoting the

contraceptive implants Implanon and Implanon NXT, Health Secretary Janette Garin stated that the

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had certified the aforementioned contraceptive implants as “not an

abortifacient,” pointing out that the mode of action of the said contraceptives was to inhibit ovulation.

The Health Secretary, however, had neglected to mention the important medical fact that the

Etonogestrel component of Implanon and Implanon NXT, not only suppresses ovulation but also inhibits

endometrial proliferation, thereby preventing the implantation of an already fertilized ovum– a

phenomenon also known as “embryonic abortion”. This secondary mechanism of action had been

admitted by the drugs’ manufacturer itself, Merck Sharp & Dohme, in its Patient Information leaflet.

There are also peer-reviewed studies that show the complex and direct effects of Implanon and

Implanon NXT on the endometrium, as well as larger studies that reaffirm the direct relationship

between endometrial thickness and the likelihood of implantation.

Apart from having an abortifacient effect, all implantable contraceptives including Implanon and

Implanon NXT also have life-threatening side effects to women, such as ectopic pregnancy, ovarian

cysts, breast cancer, and serious blood clots, as well as other risks like problems with insertion and

removal, high blood pressure, gallbladder problems, and rare cancerous or noncancerous liver tumors,

according to Merck’s Patient Information leaflet. Furthermore, disturbing reports of Implanon “getting

lost” inside women’s bodies prompted Merck to add barium to its updated model Implanon NXT for it to

be detectable by x-ray should it migrate to other parts of the body. In some cases, Implanon has also

been shown to cause unusual scarring at the site of insertion and removal.

What is even more alarming is that Health Secretary Janette Garin, who is herself a physician, seems to

be either ignorant of or indifferent to the aforementioned medical risks of such contraceptives both to

women and the unborn. It appears that the DOH has gone around implanting this device in about

600,000 poor women without giving them full knowledge of its potentially fatal risks and its

abortifacient effects. The least the DOH could do is to educate women so that they could make an

informed choice. But how can the women make an informed choice when the DOH itself seems to be


One also wonders whether the DOH should be made responsible for the removal of the contraceptive

implants they had so hastily administered to women, despite warnings from several groups, while the

FDA certification was still pending. Also, would the health agency shoulder the medical costs when the

women experience the contraceptive’s side effects mentioned above? The answers to these questions

remain to be seen.


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One comment on “Contraceptive Implants: Getting the Facts Straight
  1. Market Researcher 2016 says:

    Hi, Truthsayer,

    I am a market researcher currently looking for bloggers who are into posting topics related to birth control pills/oral contraceptives.

    I wonder if it is possible to invite you for an interview about the topic?

    Kindly let me know if you are open to the idea and I will be willing to give my details and drop you a call to discuss this further with you.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

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