Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is the most effective contraception available – with pregnancy rates comparable to sterilization. It is a great option for women of any age, including teenagers and those who haven’t had a child. There are a few new options available in LARC, and some tried and true methods that are worth reviewing.
Intra-uterine devices (IUDs)
IUDs are small t-shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus in a simple office procedure. The benefits of IUDs is that they are typically very well tolerated, and once they are placed you can forget about them. Also, most women have an immediate return to fertility once they are removed. There are 5 different IUDs available:
Mirena – the mirena device will last 5 years, and releases a low dose of progestin.
Skyla and Liletta – these two devices are slightly smaller than mirena, release a smaller amount of progestin, and are approved for use up to 3 years.
Kyleena – this is the latest device to be released on the market. It has the lowest dose of progestin of all the IUDs. It can provide 5 years of contraception.
Paraguard – this IUD releases no hormones at all, which makes it a great choice for women who are sensitive to hormonal side effects. It is good for 10 years, and has also been approved for emergency contraception.
Implantable devices (Nexplanon)
Nexplanon is a small, flexible rod that is inserted under the skin of the upper, inner arm during an office visit. It provides highly effective contraception by releasing a small amount of progestin continuously for 4 years.
We currently offer Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena and Paraguard insertion in office. Call us if you would like a consultation about appropriate contraception options for you.
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Women switching from short-acting reversible contraceptive to long-acting intrauterine systems are likely to generate cost savings from unplanned pregnancy-related expenses and long term savings in contraceptive costs.