Birth control develops

Tracy George, Guest Writer

Have you heard of LARCs? That stands for long-acting reversible contraception. In the U.S., almost half of all pregnancies are unintended. LARCs are the most effective methods of reversible contraception available in the U.S..Essentially, LARCs are birth control methods that you do not need remember each day, week, or month. LARCs include contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs).As college students, these methods may fit into your busy, active lifestyle.

The Nexplanon is a progestin-only rod-shaped implant inserted into the upper inner arm that lasts for three years.  It is approximately the size of a match-stick. Nexplanon is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancies. The biggest side effects are irregular bleeding and spotting, and some women do not have periods with Nexplanon. Once the Nexplanon is removed, the woman is able to become pregnant.

IUDs are another type of LARC. IUDs are T-shaped devices that are inserted into the woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. The Paragard IUD is a non-hormonal IUD that lasts for 10 years. The Paragard IUD is wrapped with copper wire coils that  release copper into the uterus. It is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The side effects can be heavier and longer menstrual periods. Once the Paragard IUD is removed, the woman is able to get pregnant.

The Mirena IUDis a device inserted in the uterus that contains progestin. It is also over 99% effective, and it lasts up to 5 years.  Mirena also also  treats heavy periods in women who want a long-term contraceptive method.  The most common side effects are irregular bleeding and spotting, and some women have no periods with this method.The newest IUD is Skyla, and it is a progestin-only IUD  which lasts for 3 years. It also can cause irregular bleeding and is over 99% effective. Once Mirena and Skyla are removed, the women are able to become pregnant.

LARCs are another birth control option that you should know about. If you are interested in learning more about LARCs, It is important to discuss these methods with your health care provider.