FAQ: Effectiveness of Contraceptive Implants beyond Labeled Use
Q: Progestin-only implants, such as Jadelle, Sino-implant (II), and Implanon, are currently approved by regulatory authorities for five, four, and three years of use, respectively. How effective are contraceptive implants if they are kept in place beyond their labeled use?
A: Implants are among the most effective methods of contraception, with annual pregnancy rates less than 1 percent during the duration of their labeled use. Although manufacturers decide on the duration of labeled use when seeking product registration, clinical evidence suggests that implants remain effective beyond this time period. According to this evidence, when use of Jadelle, Sino-implant (II), and Implanon is extended by at least one year, pregnancy rates remain below 1 percent to 2 percent. This compares favorably to pregnancy rates associated with common use of other reversible methods of contraception, such as COCs (8 percent), progestin-only injectables (3 percent), and condoms (15 percent).