Norplant is a long-term method of birth control. Six soft capsules the size of matchsticks are surgically inserted under the skin of the inside of the upper arm and release a synthetic hormone called Progestin for 5 years.


  • 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy
  • Does not provide protection against sexually transmitted infections

How Norplant Is Used

Your health care provider will numb a small area of your upper arm with a local anesthetic. A small incision (cut) will be made, and the six Norplant capsules will be inserted. This procedure takes about ten minutes. Norplant must be inserted within the first seven days of the beginning of a normal menstrual cycle. Protection against pregnancy begins within 24 hours.


You need to have a follow up visit within the first two to three months of use. In addition, you also need to receive a complete gynecological exam every year. If you have any problems, see your health care provider. Norplant must be removed after five years of use. It can also be removed at any point before five years.

Benefits of Using Norplant

  • Long-term birth control--prevents pregnancy for five years
  • Nothing to be taken daily or used before sexual intercourse
  • Does not contain estrogen so women who cannot use birth control pills may be able to use Norplant
  • Can be removed at any time
  • May offer some health benefits such as protection against endometrial cancer
  • Possible Problems
  • Implants are sometimes difficult to remove. Most common side effects are irregular periods and spotty bleeding.
  • Planning A Pregnancy
  • Studies indicate that your chances of getting pregnant are the same as before use of Norplant