An Evaluation of Norplant at the University Teaching Hospital
Mbewe, Kamoto Reuben
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A nine year review of NORPLANT was conducted at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka to evaluate NORPLANT as a method of fertility control in Zambian women. The study was designed to investigate acceptability, side effects, and reasons for discontinuation. Based on the evaluation, to make recommendation for use in the National Family Planning Programme.Case records were reviewed from March 1986 to March 1994 for 390 clients. Data was collated for the following variables: age, marital status, level of education attained, occupation, parity, previous contraception, date of insertion, date of removal, duration of use, complications and reasons for removal.The mean age and parity were 32.7 years and 4.9 respectively. Out of 390 clients 14% completed the five year term, 45% discontinued, 31% included those who were either continuing with the method or those who had reinsertions, 9% were lost to follow up, and 1% died. Continuation rate at 1 year was 90% and 3 of the 390 clients (0.7 %) got pregnant. The commonly reported side effects were menstrual problems, weight change, site complications, dizziness, headache and raised blood pressure. Common reasons for discontinuations were menstrual problems (35%), desired pregnancy (10 %) and weight changes (10%) followed by, to a lesser extent, site complications, switched to bilateral tubal ligation, raised blood pressure and headache.NORPLANT appear to be highly effective and a highly acceptable contraceptive method for selected Zambian women.