Timing of Etonogestrel Implant Insertion After Dilation and Evacuation: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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To compare the 6-month use rate of the etonogestrel implant placed immediately after dilation and evacuation (D&E) with placement 2–4 weeks postprocedure.


This is a randomized controlled trial of women seeking abortion between 14 0/7 and 23 5/7 weeks of gestation and desiring the etonogestrel contraceptive implant at an urban family planning clinic. Participants were randomized to device insertion immediately after the D&E compared with delayed insertion in 2–4 weeks. The primary outcome was implant use rate at 6 months after insertion and was determined by follow-up phone interviews. Secondary outcomes included repeat pregnancy rates and method satisfaction. The sample size of 120 participants was calculated based on a power of 0.80 to demonstrate a 20% difference in implant use rates between groups assuming 40% of women overall are not using the device 6 months after the procedure.


Between November 2015 and October 2016, 148 participants were enrolled. Seventy-three participants (49.3%) were randomized to and underwent immediate implant insertion after D&E. The remaining 75 (50.6%) were randomized to delayed insertion. There were no significant differences in sociodemographic characteristics between the groups. Placement rate was 100% in the immediate group compared with 42.7% in the delayed group (P<.01). At 6 months, 40 of 43 (93%) women from the immediate group who completed follow-up continued use of the implant, whereas 19 of 30 (63.3%) women from the delayed group who completed follow-up were using the device (P=.002). Follow-up rates were low at 58.9% in the immediate group compared with 40.0% in the delayed group.


Women were more likely to be using the etonogestrel implant at 6 months after D&E if they underwent immediate compared with delayed insertion. The very high loss to follow-up rate makes it difficult to draw conclusions about acceptability of the device and pregnancy rates.


ClinicalTrials.gov, 02037919.

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