Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

Updated: APRIL 20, 2020

Long-acting reversible contraception is a product designed to prevent pregnancy for an extended period of time. Once this period expires, the user should be able to get pregnant as easily as if she had never used the contraception. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants are the most common forms of long-acting reversible contraception.

Long-acting reversible contraception is often shortened to the acronym LARC.

More About Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

Long-acting reversible contraception methods are some of the most effective contraception products currently available, especially because they reduce the risk of human error. They are also very safe and cost-effective over the long-term. Because they have so many benefits in addition to the fact that they are long-lasting, they come highly recommended for teenagers and young women who may forget to regularly use other contraception methods. LARC may also be an appropriate contraceptive choice for women at any stage of their life before menopause.

Long-acting contraceptive methods are ideal for women who want to delay starting a family as well as those who are finished having children or have decided not to have children and don’t want to use permanent birth control solutions.

The period of time that LARC methods remain effective vary depending on the product. However, most LARC products can prevent pregnancy for a period of time between three and 12 years. This can make them much more convenient than other contraceptive methods which must be used directly before intercourse, or taken daily, weekly or monthly. LARCs like contraceptive implants are 99% effective for the stated period. IUDs provide greater flexibility, as they can be removed before their expiration date by a trained professional if a woman wishes to get pregnant.

While long-acting reversible contraception methods are very effective at preventing pregnancy, they do not prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). For this reason, women should use them in conjunction with condoms unless they are absolutely positive of their partner’s STI status and are in a committed, monogamous relationship.


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