Tell me more, tell me more!
In our last blog we gave an overview of what LARCs are. Since today is the official #ThxBirthControl Day we decided to share more information about the individual methods we provide free access to. Remember, every body is different and the best birth control for you may not be the best birth control option for your best friend. This is one of the many reasons why we also cover a birth control consultation at your appointment to make sure you pick the right method for you!
Birth Control Implant- The Nexplanon
The Nexplanon is a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. The physician will numb the arm before making a small incision to insert the device. The hormones in the Nexplanon prevent pregnancy by making the mucus in the cervix thicker which blocks sperm so it cannot get to an egg. The hormones can also stop eggs from leaving the ovaries (ovulation), which means there is no egg for a sperm to fertilize. The Nexplanon is over 99% effective and lasts for up to 3 years. Since the Nexplanon is a LARC method, you guessed it- it is reversible too; once removed your fertility will go right back to what is normal for you.
An IUD is a T-shaped device that is only about an inch long and wide. IUD stands for intrauterine device, which is a form of long-acting, reversible, contraception. If you decided you wanted an IUD, the doctor would perform a small procedure while you are awake to insert this device into your uterus. This application should not take more than five minutes. So what does an IUD do, and what are the different types to choose from?
The hormonal IUD releases a small amount of the hormone progestin into the body over several years. This progestin hormone is very similar to the hormone progesterone that the body naturally makes. To prevent pregnancy, the hormonal IUDs keep sperm cells away from eggs. If sperm can’t make it to an egg then a pregnancy can’t happen. The hormones in the IUD prevent pregnancy by making the mucus in the cervix thicker which blocks sperm so it cannot get to an egg. The hormones can also stop eggs from leaving the ovaries (ovulation), which means there is no egg for a sperm to fertilize.
There are quite a few different
options available when choosing a hormonal IUD depending on what size and length of time. There are four brands of hormonal IUDs we provide access to: Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla. They all work the same and have the same type of hormone. The main difference in the 4 is that they last for different lengths of time: the Mirena, Kyleena, and Liletta IUDs work for up to 5 years while Skyla works for up to 3 years. And remember these methods are over 99% effective and reversible. So an IUD can be taken out whenever you are ready and your fertility will go right back to what is normal for you.
For someone looking for a LARC method without hormones, the Paragard may be right for you. This IUD is also a T-shaped plastic device, but this has copper wrapped around it, which is why it is often referred to as the copper IUD. The copper on this device is what makes it such an effective LARC method because sperm doesn’t like copper. Copper is toxic to sperm and changes the way sperm cells move so they can’t swim to an egg. The Paragard is effective for up to 10 years too! This method is of course over 99% effective and once removed your fertility will reverse back to what is normal to you.
After a few years, your LARC method will expire, but what if you are still wanting effective birth control? In that case, if your LARC method is going to expire and you want to keep using that method then we will cover all costs of a replacement LARC. Some of the women we serve come to us with an expired LARC device and want a replacement, and if that is the case we will happily cover the cost of removing the expired LARC and insert a new device.
By: Caina Lynch