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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


KOIFMAN, Sérgio et al. An assessment of the use of the contraceptive Norplant in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1987, vol.21, n.6, pp.513-522. ISSN 1518-8787.

Anticonceptional methods for long-term have been searched for in many places. Norplant is one such, based on the use levonorgestrel capsules which introduced into women's arms, produce a daily secretion of hormones and have from two to five years' effect. It is produced under license from the Population Council and industrialised by Leiras Pharmaceutical. It has been used in Thailand, Egypt, Indonesia, Sweden, Denmark and Brazil. It is assessed the results of this method in Rio de Janeiro, where 175 Norplant users were interviewed at home, and their answers compared with those of two control groups (levonorgestrel pill-users and no-hormonal methods-users). The results show increased relative risks in Norplant users in menstrual disorders, hypertension, severe weight disturbances and hypertrichoses, all of them of statistical significance. Other non-statistical findings were angina pectoris, hypertensive encephalopaty, acne and duodenites. Some severe symptoms like headaches and behavioural disturbances were mentioned and these disappeared after the capsules had been withdrawn. It is discussed the relevance of all the side-effects in women who decided to interrupt the use of Norplant. In these cases follow-up measures are needed, in view of the fact that hemorrhage, marked weight gain and difficulties in pregnancy may developed.

Keywords : Contraceptive agents, female [adverse effects]; Contraception [methods]; Evaluation studies; Risk.

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