Roubos, S., Louwerse, A. L., Langermans, J. A. M. et al. 2021. Retrospective analysis of the effectiveness and reversibility of long-acting contraception Etonogestrel (Implanon®) in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Animals 11(4), 963.

Contraception is an important population control method for the colony management of primates housed in captivity. Etonogestrel (ENG) implants (i.e., Implanon®) are a widely used progestin-based contraceptive in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) with the theoretical advantages of being reversible and long-acting. However, no dose and efficacy data are available yet. Therefore, data from 52 adult female marmosets contracepted with ENG (one-fourth or one-third of an implant) housed at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC, Rijswijk, The Netherlands) over the past 18 years were analyzed. Using an electronic database, a retrospective longitudinal cohort study was conducted to calculate the reproductive data before, during and after ENG use. The data show an effectiveness in preventing pregnancy of 99%. The implant was effective within one week after insertion. Unintended pregnancies did occur, but in 60% of these cases, the animals were already pregnant at the time of implant insertion. In these cases, healthy offspring were born despite the use of the implant. No stillbirths, neonatal deaths or maternal deaths could be linked to ENG use. After implant removal, 83% of the animals delivered healthy offspring. No difference in contraception efficacy was observed between the use of one-fourth or one-third of an implant. ENG achieved a contraceptive protection exceeding 99% and was shown to be reversible concerning fertility. To our knowledge, this is the first detailed analysis on the use of ENG in marmosets.

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