Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCS)

Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCS)



Approximately 50% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned. Many women with an unplanned pregnancy had been using some form of contraception, but perhaps not as faithfully as needed to prevent a pregnancy, or they just had bad luck. We now have very effective forms of contraception that are easy to use and are long-acting so that you don’t have to remember to use it every day or think about it when you want to have sex. These are called LARCS (Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives), some of which have been available in the US for years but are now covered by most health insurance plans.

LARCS include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and progesterone birth control implants. Once placed, they are good for several years and are highly effective with fewer than 1 woman in 100 becoming pregnant while using them (long term, about 20 times more effective than the pill). This rate is about the same as we see for sterilization procedures, but they are not permanent.  If you decide you want to get pregnant, the device can be easily removed. If you don’t want to get pregnant and the device has expired, it can be replaced in a doctor’s office.

The available IUDs are good for one year, 3 years, 5 years or 10 years. The implant is effective for 3 years. In all, great contraception with the ability to forget about it for years (We still recommend condoms for STD prevention, however).

More information about LARCS will be addressed in future blogs, or you can read about them at: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Long-Acting-Reversible-Contraception-LARC-IUD-and-Implant

You can call our office at 714-378-5606 if you would like more information or to make an appointment.

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