Contraceptive Implant-Associated Bleeding in Adolescent/Young Adult Clinical Practice: Associated Factors, Management, and Rates of Discontinuation

Carly E. Milliren, Amy D. DiVasta, Alexandra J. Edwards, Sofya Maslyanskaya, Claudia Borzutzky, Sarah Pitts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To identify factors associated with bothersome implant-associated uterine bleeding, and to evaluate the impact of bleeding management on implant discontinuation. Methods: We analyzed a quality improvement database of implant insertions (n = 825) at three adolescent/young adult programs and described individuals with and without reported bothersome bleeding. We utilized logistic regression to assess for factors associated with bleeding. Results: Implant recipient mean age was 18.9 ± 2.6 years, and 27% reported having subsequent bothersome uterine bleeding. Recipients had increased odds of reporting such bleeding if they had previously irregular menses (odds ratio [OR] = 1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.11–1.68 irregular and infrequent, OR = 1.41; 95% CI: 1.07–1.86 irregular and frequent) or sought the implant for menstrual management purposes exclusively (OR = 1.67; 95% CI 1.42–1.96) or in combination with contraceptive need (OR 1.65; 95%: CI 1.57–1.72). Prior use of the progestin injection or implant was associated with lower odds of subsequent bleeding report (OR = 0.63; 95% CI: 0.54–0.73; OR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.39–0.75, respectively). Medication management of bleeding was associated with the likelihood of implant discontinuation at 1 year compared to those with untreated bleeding (hazard ratio 1.98 times, 95% CI: 1.39–2.81). The implant was continued for 3 years in over 50% of recipients with ever-managed bothersome bleeding. Discussion: Individuals with historically irregular menses and those seeking the implant for menstrual management more often reported bothersome bleeding. Treating such bleeding with medication was associated with higher 1-year discontinuation rates, although many continued implant use for 3 years. Such findings may influence implant preinsertion counseling and/or postinsertion bleeding management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-590
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Contraception
  • Etonogestrel
  • Implant
  • Uterine bleeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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