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Ask Erika, 
My girlfriend and I have a problem.  We both decided that a condom alone just was not enough to try and control pregnancy, so we had Norplant surgically implanted.  This is great except one thing. She continually bleeds all the time.  The Planned Parenthood told her to take an extra dosage of Bayer for a week and see what would happen.  This seemed to slow the bleeding down, but did not stop it.  Any ideas? Thanks, Cory

Dear Cory,
Thanks for your question.  It is common to have irregular, even continuous, bleeding with Norplant, especially in the early stages of use.  After she's tried ibuprofen, the next thing to try might be taking a few cycles of low-dose oral contraceptive pills (birth control pills) to help regulate her cycle (while continuing with the Norplant).  The hormones in oral contraceptives can help return menstrual cycles to more regular and manageable patterns.  Have your girlfriend talk to her clinician about this option.  Also, note that typically the longer women use Norplant, the more likely they are to return to regular cycles.  By the 5th year of use, about two-thirds of women have regular cycles.  However, if this pattern of bleeding continues and is unacceptable to your girlfriend, she may wish to consider having Norplant removed and trying another method.  She can speak to the clinician who inserted it or call the Norplant Foundation at 1-800-760-9030 to get the names of clinicians in her area who will remove the implants. Best of luck, Dr. Erika Pluhar



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The Founder: "Alex" Caroline Robboy, LCSW, QSW, CAS

Ms. Robboy is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Growth Inc and How To Have Good Sex Inc.  Alex practices marriage and family therapy and sex therapy, and also conducts periodic seminars about human sexuality throughout the northeastern United States.

Ms. Robboy graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Masters degree in Social Work, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality Education and a Post-Masters Certificate in Marriage Counseling & Sex Therapy. Through the American Board of Sexology, she is a board certified sexologist and through the American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists a certified sex therapist.  Additionally, she is a licensed clinical social worker and a member of the American Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.


  Our Philosophy sex is like dancing, it changes every time. It depends on culture, atmosphere and mood. Sometimes it is done alone, with a partner or in a group. It can be fast and hard or slow and soft. Sex is a combination of non-verbal negotiation and verbal cues: a scream, a twitch of the toes, or a flush of the face. There is no one 'right' way to move, only what feels good to all those involved. 
     The purpose of this site is to share information. Thus, if you have any ideas, thoughts or information that you believe others might benefit from, please e-mail your tip to and I  will be sure to include it on either our weekly newsletter or here on the actual website. 

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September 6, 2006