Long-acting reversible contraception
Long-acting reversible contraception is a category of ‘set-and-forget’ contraceptive methods that prevent unplanned pregnancy with a high degree of reliability and efficacy. They do not require the user to adhere to a daily or episodic regime, as demanded by hormonal birth control pills or condoms, and so maintain a high degree of protection over months and years.
Dr Marie clinics offer a full range of long-acting reversible contraceptive options and consultation services on methods such as contraceptive injection, contraceptive implant or rod, the copper intra-uterine device (IUD) and hormonal intrauterine system (IUS). We also provide safe, permanent vasectomy procedures for men.
Choosing a long-acting reversible method of contraception from the range of options available is a matter of working out what is right for your individual situation. For instance, long-acting reversible contraception very reliably protects against unplanned pregnancy but does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Whatever you decide, you need to feel confident that you are reliably protected against unplanned pregnancy.
To find out which type of contraception option suits you best, take our My Best Fit quiz.
Finding out about these options can be difficult, particularly if you don’t have a regular GP you can approach for advice. This is where My Best Fit — Dr Marie’s online contraception adviser — can help you find out more about how the various methods of contraception work and decide which one suits you and your lifestyle.
Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) provides protection against pregnancy from 3 months up to 10 years, depending on the method used. The following options are more than 99% effective, however they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Depending on the type of IUD, they can be effective from 5 up to 10 years. Copper IUDs can also be used as an emergency method of contraception within 5 days of unprotected intercourse, or 5 days after expected ovulation.
For more information about this method of long-acting contraception, Ask Dr Marie about intrauterine devices.
For more information about this method of long-acting contraception, Ask Dr Marie about intrauterine systems.
The implant prevents pregnancy by releasing small but constant amounts of the hormone into the body via the bloodstream. The hormone blocks ovulation (the release of eggs from the ovaries) and it also thickens the mucus at the cervix so that sperm cannot get through to meet an egg. The implant lasts for 3 years, but it is easily removed if you decide you no longer need it.
For more information about this method of long-acting contraception, Ask Dr Marie about contraceptive implants.
It is important to have a repeat injection on time (every 12 weeks) otherwise it becomes ineffective. Irregular bleeding is a possible side effect of the contraceptive injection; however, no periods may be an advantage for some.
For more information about this method of long-acting contraception, Ask Dr Marie about contraceptive injections.