The effect of Implanon® and a non-medicated intrauterine device on the development of breastfed infants

The effect of Implanon® and a non-medicated intrauterine device on the

development of breastfed infants

S. Taneepanichskul (1), T. Dieben (2)

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Chulalongkorn Hospital, Bangkok,

Thailand (1); Clinical Development Department, NV Organon, Oss, The Netherlands


Objective: The effect of an etonogestrel-releasing implant

(Implanon®) and a non-medicated IUD (Multiload-cu 375 SL) on the development of

breastfed infants over a 3-year follow up period was assessed.

Design and Methods: The study was designed to investigate the safety

and acceptability of Implanon and the non-medicated IUD in lactating women, and

the effects of treatment on the development of the breast-fed infants. Healthy

lactating women, 28–56 days post-partum, were recruited and were free to

choose between the implant and the IUD. The results relating to the effect of

Implanon and the IUD on parameters of lactation and transfer of etonogestrel to

breast milk have been published previously (Reinprayoon D. et al. Contraception

2000; 62:239–246). The development of the breastfed infants was studied over a

3-year follow-up period and is reported here. Statistical analysis of

anthropometric parameters of the children was done using a random coefficients

model (longitudinal analysis).

Results: Forty-two women were included in the Implanon group and 38 in

the IUD group. Mean duration of treatment and breast-feeding was 988.8 and 421.0

days in the Implanon group and 909.1 and 423.4 days in the IUD group,

respectively. After 3 years of follow-up, there were no differences between the

groups in the development of the infants (body length, biparietal head

circumference and body weight). No abnormalities were reported in psychomotoric

development or on physical examination. No treatment-related side effects were

observed among the children in both groups. The most frequently reported adverse

events were ‘respiratory tract disorders’ and ‘skin and appendages


Conclusions: No differences were observed in the growth and

development of the breast-fed infants in either the Implanon or IUD groups

during the 3-year follow up period. There were no differences in safety-related

parameters between the two groups. Implanon is therefore a safe contraceptive

option for breast-feeding women.

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