The use of levonorgestrel implants (Norplant) for contraception in adolescent mothers
Norplant would seem like a good contraceptive option for adolescent mothers, but little data exists about the use of this particular contraceptive method in that population. The authors publish findings from a prospective study to determine the factors associated with the choice of Norplant compared with other contraceptive methods and to assess the effect of Norplant on the use of health care services, sexual activity, additional pregnancy, and condom use. 100 postpartum adolescents who chose a contraceptive method at an urban teaching hospital over the period September 1991 - July 1992 were studied through structured interviews and the review of medical records soon after delivery and at a mean 15.5 months post partum. 48 of the adolescent mothers chose Norplant, 50 chose oral contraceptives, and two chose barrier methods of contraception. Norplant acceptors were of mean age 16.7 years, while oral contraceptive acceptors were of mean age 16.2 years. 24 Norplant acceptors and six oral contraceptive acceptors were multiparous, and 34 Norplant acceptors and 21 oral contraceptive users had previous experience with oral contraceptives. No differences were observed between groups during follow-up in the frequency of clinic visits, failure to return after the postpartum visit, sexual activity, condom use, or the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. At follow-up, 95% of the subjects in the Norplant group compared to 33% of those in the oral contraceptive group were still using the method they had chosen. During the first postpartum year, one subject in the Norplant group and 19 in the oral contraceptive group became pregnant.