Medically reviewed by Mary Jane Minkin, M.D.

If you’re on the lookout for a protected, efficient and hassle-free solution to forestall being pregnant, long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) could also be possibility for you.

We reached out to Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a medical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences on the Yale University School of Medicine and a member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Council, to seek out out what questions it’s best to ask your healthcare supplier (HCP) should you’re contemplating utilizing LARC.

What is long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)?

As the identify suggests, long-acting reversible contraception is efficient contraception that lasts a very long time and may be simply reversed.

Most oral contraceptives could be near 100% efficient if we weren’t human, and we may bear in mind to take issues at precisely the identical time every single day and always remember something. But sadly, with real-world utilization the numbers are extra like 91% or 92%.

That’s the place the idea of long-acting reversible contraception is available in. It takes out the potential for human error.

What are the various kinds of LARC?

The intrauterine gadget (IUD) was one of many first LARC strategies. IUDs are small units which might be inserted into the uterus. They are accredited to final wherever from 3 to 10 years, relying on the model. Hormonal IUDs, resembling Mirena, Skyla, Liletta and Kyleena, include progestin, a man-made model of the hormone progesterone. ParaGard, which is made from copper, is at the moment the one hormone-free type of LARC.

Many ladies like hormonal IUDs as a result of they may help management bleeding, that means you could not get a interval, or your intervals will likely be very gentle. And you possibly can turn into fertile pretty rapidly after eradicating them. A draw back is that they will solely be put in by a HCP, and insertion and removing may cause some ache.

Then there’s the contraceptive implant, Nexplanon, which is a progestin-releasing rod that’s put in your arm. It lasts for 3 years. The implant is an efficient possibility for individuals who need long-lasting hormonal contraception however need to keep away from estrogen. The most typical concern folks have in regards to the implant is that lots of people get breakthrough bleeding with it. And it does have to be inserted and eliminated by an HCP.

How efficient are these LARC strategies?

They’re very efficient at above 99%.

Who can use LARC strategies of contraception, and who shouldn’t?

Most ladies can safely use LARC strategies, though all types of hormonal contraception have some circumstances the place they shouldn’t be used. For instance, ladies who’ve unexplained bleeding ought to keep away from LARCs till they will work out what’s inflicting them to bleed. A HCP can supply particular steering round security considerations.

It’s additionally necessary to notice that LARCs don’t defend in opposition to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms are the one type of contraception that additionally prevents STIs.

What are some widespread misconceptions about LARC strategies?

I believe the largest false impression about LARC is that these strategies can negatively have an effect on a girl’s fertility in the long run. And that’s not the case. By definition, LARC is reversible.

Another false impression is that you need to preserve them in all the time they’re energetic, however that’s not true. You can take away LARC at any time.

What questions ought to ladies ask themselves so as to make an knowledgeable determination about contraception? What elements do you take into account when making suggestions?

Whether a girl is beginning contraception for the primary time or considering a swap after a few years with the identical kind, I all the time need to assist information her towards whichever one will make her joyful — the one that can greatest meet her particular person wants.

Is she solely seeking to forestall being pregnant, or does she need to management bleeding too? Does she need to begin a household sooner relatively than later? Other elements to think about embrace ease and efficacy.

With so many protected and efficient choices accessible, ladies can select the one which greatest meets their distinctive wants.

This useful resource was created with help from Organon and Co. and Sebela Women’s Health, Inc.

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