Brinsworth and Whiston Medical Centres

171 Bawtry Road, Brinsworth, Rotherham, S60 5ND

Telephone: 01709 828806

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Whiston Medical Centre, Hunger Hill Lane, Whiston, Rotherham, S60 4BD | Telephone: 01709 835837 |

Long-acting Reversible Contraception LARC

Long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) devices are birth control methods that provide effective contraception for an extended period of time. You do not have to think about contraception on a daily basis or every time you have sex, as with the oral contraceptive pill or condoms. Long-acting reversible contraception is highly effective in preventing unintended pregnancies, and can be stopped if you decide you want to get pregnant.

Long-acting reversible contraceptives include the following:

  • Implants – these are inserted under the skin and last for up to 3 years.
  • Intrauterine devices – these are inserted into the womb and last for 5-10 years before they need replacing.
  • Contraceptive injections – these work for up to 12 weeks before being repeated.

Currently all LARC methods are for women, as there are no long-acting reversible contraceptive methods designed for men yet.

Copper IUDs IUS Progestogen-only-injections Impants (Implanon)
What is it A small plastic and copper device which is inserted into the womb. A small plastic device which is inserted into the womb and slowly releases progestogen. An injection that slowly releases progestogen. A small, flexible rod inserted under the skin that slowly releases progestogen.
How does it work? Prevents fertilisation and inhibits implantation of egg in the womb Mainly prevents implantation of egg and sometimes prevents fertilisation Prevents ovulation. Prevents ovulation.
How long does it last? 5-10 years depending on type. 5 years Repeat injections every 8-12 weeks depending on type. 3 years
Chances of getting pregnant? Less than 2% over a 5 year period. Less than 1% over a 5 year period. Less than 0.4% over a 2 year period. Less than 0.1% over 3 year period
Could it affect chances of getting pregnant in the future? No No It may take up to a year for fertility to return to normal. No
Affect on periods? Periods may become heavier or more painful. For the first 6 months there may be irregular bleeding or spotting. Periods often become less frequent or stop after a year. Periods often stop, but some may experience irregular or persistent bleeding. Period pains may improve. Period may stop, or become longer or irregular until removal of implant.
Unwanted effects? Risk of ectopic pregnancy is higher if you fall pregnant while using an IUD. Risk of ectopic pregnancy is higher if you fall pregnant while using an IUS.
May develop acne.
May gain weight (2-3kg over a year).
May cause thinning of the bones which is reversible on stopping.
May develop acne.
Checks needed whilst using LARC Need check-up after first period after insertion.
Regularly feel for threads of IUD to ensure it is still in place.
See doctor/nurse if you experience any problems or want to have it removed.
The same checks apply as for the IUD. See doctor or nurse if you experience any problems or want to have it removed. None – need to regularly receive repeat injections.
See you doctor or nurse if you experience any problems related to the injection.
See your doctor or nurse if you experience any problems related to the implant, want to stop using it or have it removed.

Make sure you have sufficient information from your doctor or nurse before you decide which long-acting reversible contraceptive is right for you. You’ll need to check with your doctor or nurse as particular contraceptive methods may not be suitable for you. Your doctor will enquire about your general health, medical problems, periods and previously used contraceptives. Before starting any method you will need to check that you are not pregnent.

LARCs do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms can help protect against these infections and your doctor or nurse can provide more information on this.

If you are interested in long-acting reversible contraception then please book a routine appointment with one of our GPs to discuss this.

Opening Times

  • Monday
    07:30am to 06:30pm
  • Tuesday
    07:30am to 06:30pm
  • Wednesday
    07:30am to 06:30pm
  • Thursday
    07:30am to 06:30pm
  • Friday
    07:30am to 06:30pm
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
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