Background: In 2014, the South African National Department of Health introduced a new addition to the long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) options available in the country. This was a single rod subdermal progestogen implant (Implanon®NXT) which provided 3 years of effective contraception cover. However, the new contraceptive device uptake and general acceptance amongst women quickly diminished, with a slew of requests for its removal. The aim of this study was to explore the reasons given by women for discontinuing the use of their progestogen implants at Koster Hospital, North West province, South Africa. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted using semistructured interviews. Thirteen women were purposively selected and interviewed at Koster Hospital Family Planning Unit. The transcriptions of the audio-taped interviews were analysed thematically. Results: The following themes emerged from the interviews as reasons the women discontinued their progestogen implants: side effects such as menstrual problems, arm discomfort and weight gain. Other themes were family or social factors and the desire to conceive. Conclusion: The reasons for discontinuation of Implanon by women at Koster Hospital were the undesirable side effects they experienced whilst using the contraceptive device. These side effects were mainly menstrual problems, arm discomfort and weight gain. Family and other social dynamics also influenced some of the participants’ decision to discontinue their contraceptive implants.
- side effects