LARC, or long-acting reversible contraceptives, are methods of birth control that provide effective contraception for an extended period without requiring user action. Some methods include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and sub-dermal contraceptive implants. LARCs are the most effective reversible methods of contraception because they do not depend on patient compliance. Their 'typical use' failure rates are about the same as 'perfect use' failure rates. Usually less than 1% of women become pregnant.
LARCs are recommended for adolescents and women of any age no matter how many times they have given birth. Women considering using LARCs should obtain contraceptive counseling from reproductive health professionals because those who do are more satisfied with them and use them for longer periods of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an IUD?
An IUD is a small, t-shaped piece of plastic that keeps you from getting pregnant.
Where does it go?
A doctor or nurse puts the IUD in the uterus, which is inside a woman’s body above the vagina. IUD stands for “Intrauterine Device,” which means it is inside the uterus.
How long does it last?
The ParaGard lasts for 10 years. The Mirena and Kyleena last for 5 years. Both can be taken out by a doctor or nurse at any time.
How do I use it?
Once a doctor or nurse puts in the IUD, you don't have to do anything! You are protected from pregnancy until you choose to have it removed, or up to 5 years with the Mirena or Kyleena and 10 years with the Paragard.
How well does it work?
The IUD works really, really well. It is one of the best forms of birth control that exists. If 100 women use the IUD, on average less than 1 will become pregnant within a year.
What types of IUDs does A Step Ahead Foundation provide?
Our health centers have two types of IUDs available: The Liletta, which lasts for 4 years, Mirena or Kyleena, which lasts for 5 years, and the ParaGard, which lasts for 10 years. The ParaGard has no hormones. The Liletta, Mirena, Kyleena have some hormones, which can make periods lighter for some women.
How does an IUD work?
Both IUDs work by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. This happens because the IUDs make it difficult for sperm to move. In some women, the hormones in the Mirena may also prevent ovulation (when the egg leaves the ovaries).
Does an IUD protect me from STIs?
Nope, absolutely not. So definitely use a condom every time you have sex so that you are protected from pregnancy AND sexually transmitted infections.
How do I learn more?
You can always set up an appointment with one of our doctors or nurses to talk about the IUD or implant, or you head over to our contact page to email a question.