The Regional Health Office (RHO) of DOH in Northern Mindanao, in partnership with, Jhpiego-Mindanao Health and POPCOM-10 conducted a series of outreach activities for Modern Family Planning during the first quarter of 2015.  These activities were aimed at providing married couples with their chosen family planning method to enable and help them achieve their desired number of children that they support and raise humanely.

The first two (2) outreach activities conducted at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) and Jasaan Misamis Oriental in January and February respectively were intended for women who wanted the permanent method called the Bilateral Tubal Ligation (BTL).  One hundred nine (109) women availed of the free service on BTL and underwent the procedure free of charge.  The ligation was performed by doctors from the different rural health units who were trained on the procedure.  BTL is a safe and simple surgical procedure that provides permanent contraception for women who do not want any more children.  It involves cutting or blocking the 2 fallopian tubes so that eggs released from the ovaries cannot move down the fallopian tubes to meet the sperm.  It is proven to be 99.5% effective.

Another outreach activities were for the subdermal implant (Implanon NXT) conducted at NMMC and J.R. Borja City Memorial Hospital (JRBCMH) on February 20 and March 19 respectively.  Two hundred forty-two (242) women received free service on Implanon NXT.  Implanon NXT is a new family planning method where a single-rod subdermal implant is inserted under the skin of the inner side of the upper arm of the woman.  The rod is flexible and has a size of 4cm long and 2mm wide.  It has an active ingredient called etonogestrel(ENG), a progestogen.  Implanon NXT works by continuously releasing a small amount of this hormone into the bloodstream for three years to prevent the release of an egg cell from the ovaries and changing the cervical mucus that would make it difficult for sperm to enter the womb.  Only a trained doctor may insert or remove the implant.

Women who use this FP method do not have to worry about taking a tablet each day. It does not interfere with having sex. The method may be used by women who do not tolerate estrogens and once the woman stops using the method, previous fertility will quickly return. Among the disadvantages that women may experience is that their menstrual bleeding may change (absent, irregular, prolonged). The bleeding pattern for the first three months generally indicates future bleeding patterns.