In a very rare incident, a Portuguese woman had to have surgery to remove a contraceptive implant from her lung. The case was shared in a report by BMJ Journals.
The 31-year-old had had the implant for eight years. She then started experiencing an abnormal period which lasted three months before doctors discovered what was wrong.
The implant is usually placed in her upper arm but it moved. When doctors felt for it, they couldn’t find it and this prompted them to do a scan. The scans showed the implant in her chest, at the bottom of her left lung.
According to the report, this form of contraceptive is expected to stay in the arm for three years. But some factors, though not common, can cause it to move.
One of the causes, doctors explained, is when the implant is placed too deep into the arm. This puts it at risk of getting absorbed into the bloodstream. This particular implant should be placed just beneath the skin.
Another is taking part in vigorous exercises immediately after the implant is placed. An irregular period is the most common sign of a problem with the insertion.
Luckily, the implant’s migration didn’t affect the unnamed woman. She was discharged from the hospital just four days after surgery.
According to gynaecologist Dr Tania Adib, women should check their implants often to ensure that it stays put. They should also ensure that it is placed by a trained professional.