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What are LARCs?

You may hear or see us talk quite a bit about LARCs. Well, what is a LARC? Long-acting, reversible contraception. Now say that out loud, five times fast. Okay, we’re kidding. But LARC is a much quicker and easier way to refer to what the American College of Gynecology recommends as first line contraceptive methods. Along with being highly effective, these birth control methods have many benefits ranging from convenience to limited side effects. Let’s talk a little more about them.

There are 3 types of LARC methods: the hormonal IUD, the non hormonal IUD, and the implant. All of these methods are over 99% effective and are not dependent on the user's careful compliance, like a daily pill or monthly visits to the physician. A LARC must be inserted by a physician and once it has been inserted there is no need to worry about the effectiveness or refill of the device for a few years. Each method lasts for a different length of time, but they are all reversible and can be removed at any time.

Long-acting refers to how long the method will be effective without being replaced by a physician. This allows a woman to have secure and effective birth control in place for a few years without the worry or stress of an unplanned pregnancy. The contraceptive implant, also known as Nexplanon can last up to 3 years. Hormonal IUDs can vary from 3-5 years depending on which device is utilized. And last, but not least, the non hormonal IUD, also known as Paragard, can last up to 10 years.

The ‘R’ in LARC is pretty explanatory- reversible! All LARC methods once removed are completely reversible. Which means that when the device is removed the recipient will regain fertility very quickly, usually within a month. It’s important to note that LARCs should always be removed by a physician.

You may have already figured out that contraception is the last letter in LARC. These contraception methods have effectiveness rates of over 99%, so the recipient can rest assured they have the utmost protection when choosing one of these methods. We also recommend that the only form of 100% effective birth control is abstinence. And also like to point out that LARC methods do not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases.

These methods are extremely low maintenance as you can essentially forget about it once it is inserted. This is one of the many reasons why we decided we wanted to provide access to LARC. If you are interested in LARC as your form of contraception, simply call 615-671-STEP (7837) to schedule your consultation appointment.

Stay tuned to our next few blogs for a more in depth look into each LARC method we provide access to.

By: Caina Lynch

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