Do you want a child now or in the next few years? If not, you’re probably weighing your options for birth control methods. Fortunately, a variety of safe and effective options are available for teens and adult women. Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) is one of them.
What is LARC?
A LARC is exactly what the name implies. It’s a type of birth control that you don’t have to think about on a daily basis. It lasts anywhere from three to 10 years, depending on the type you choose. But it can be reversed any time you decide you’re ready to have a child. There are two types of LARC. These include:
Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
IUDs are small, plastic, T-shaped devices inserted into your uterus by one of the providers at Abortion Care in Somerset, New Jersey, and left there for a number of years. There are two types of IUDs: a hormone-releasing IUD and a non-hormone releasing copper IUD.
This device releases the hormone progestin, which prevents sperm from reaching the egg and also thins your uterine lining, making it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant. It’s 99% effective and lasts for up to five years.
Non-hormone releasing copper intrauterine device (IUD)
This IUD releases copper to kill interfere with sperm mobility, making it harder for it to fertilize an egg. This method is also 99% effective and lasts for up to 10 years.
Birth control implant
An implant is a tiny, flexible plastic rod that’s inserted under your skin in your upper arm, where it releases the hormone progestin, which prevents ovulation. Abortion Care uses Nexplanon® implants, which are 99% effective for up to three years.
What are the risks and benefits of using LARC?
The risks are rare and usually minor. They include the device falling out, ectopic pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease. It’s also important to note that they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
The main benefit is long-term effective pregnancy prevention without having to think about it for years. According to the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (ACOG), LARCs are 20 times more effective over time than birth control pills, the patch, or the ring. Other benefits include:
- No one will know you are using LARC.
- It does not interfere with sex or other activities. You can still use a tampon.
- It’s available for almost all women. Very few conditions prevent women from using it.
- It’s simple to take out and does not impede getting pregnant after it’s removed.
- The hormonal IUD and the implant reduce menstrual pain and cramps.
- The copper IUD can be used as emergency contraception.
Is LARC right for me?
It’s important to choose the right birth control method for your lifestyle and family plans. LARC may be the right choice for you if:
- You don’t want children right now and don’t want to have to think about it every day.
- You don’t want to add to your family, but you still want to keep your options open in case you change your mind in the future.
- You’re young and sexually active, but know you don’t want a child for many years.
- You aren’t sure if you want children.
- Your financial or professional situation is not in the right place to support or have a child.
- You’re in a relationship, but not sure of its long-term status.
Call or make an appointment with a provider at Abortion Care to discuss your birth control options and help you decide if LARC is right for you.