Birth Control 101: LARC Birth Control

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Find the best birth control for you, part 2.

Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives, also known as LARC birth control, are low-maintenance contraceptives that can last for long periods of time. How effective are LARCs? LARCs are among the most effective methods of birth control and are reversible, too. While they are long lasting, they can be removed at any time.

It is important to note that LARCs work to prevent pregnancy but cannot protect against STIs.

There are two types of LARC birth control:

  • An IUD
  • A birth control implant

The IUD

An IUD (intrauterine device) is a tiny t-shaped device that is placed inside of the uterus. Doing this limits the movement of sperm to prevent an egg from being fertilized. An IUD can be hormonal or non-hormonal, meaning the device can release hormones while it is in the uterus or the device itself works to prevent pregnancy through its chemical makeup.

Quick Facts to Keep in Mind

  • Effectiveness
    • Greater than 99%
  • Does not protect against STIs, including HIV
  • Some IUDs may last up to 12 years
  • Some IUDs may cause increased blood flow and/or cramping during a monthly period

The Implant

A birth control implant is a tiny rod (about the size of a matchstick) that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. It works by releasing progestin, a hormone that works to prevent ovulation. It also thickens the cervical mucus to keep sperm from fertilizing an egg.

Quick Facts to Keep in Mind

  • Effectiveness
    • Greater than 99%
  • Does not protect against STIs, including HIV
  • May last up to 4 years
  • May cause irregular bleeding during a monthly period

Ready to take control of your sexual health? Find an FHCCP healthcare provider near you or visit KeepRelationshipsReal.com.


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