Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive Methods (LARC)

These methods of contraception should be discussed with all clients wishing to avoid pregnancy. These methods of contraception last from 3-5 years and do not involve swallowing pills etc.

Implanon, the contraceptive implant

Implanon is a little rod, which can be inserted into your arm just under the skin.It is about the size of a match and once inserted you are able to feel it but it is not visible. This little rod produces a low dose of hormone slowly releasing it into the tissue below your skin. This stops you ovulating (releasing an egg). It also alters the cervical mucus. Almost everybody can have this method of contraception and is has an extremely low failure rate. This method of contraception once in your arm can stay in for 3 years. The insertion of the implant involves a small amount of local anaesthetic in your arm but there are no stitches and you do not require to be put to sleep. The area on the arm is bandaged for 48 hours to reduce swelling. If you think you would like an implant inserted, you would be counselled fully about the benefits and side effects before it is inserted.

The Mirena Contraceptive Device (IUS)

The Mirena is an intra uterine system. This means it is like a coil in that it is fitted into the uterus (womb). It contains a very low dose of progestogen hormone which acts locally inside the uterus (womb). This prevents pregnancy by altering the lining of the womb and mucus to make it resistant to sperm. In some women ovulation (releasing of an egg) is prevented. This intrauterine system can be left in place for 5 years and many women find it very good as they have few periods or very light periods. The failure rate is extremely low. There are very few people who are not suitable for this method of contraception.

Intrauterine Device (coil)

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An intrauterine device is commonly known as a coil. All coils now being inserted contain copper and they act by altering the lining of the womb and by being toxic to sperm. There may also be an effect on the mucus produced by the neck of the womb. Copper coils can be kept in place for 5-10 years depending on which one you have inserted. The failure rate is extremely low. Prior to having a copper coil inserted, you would be counselled fully about the benefits and side effects.

Depo-Provera Contraception Active Image

Depo-Provera is an injection of a hormone call progestogen. This prevents you ovulating (releasing an egg). The injection has to be given every 12 weeks and it is a very effective method of contraception. You would be counselled fully about the benefits and side effects of Depo-Provera prior to this being given. You can stop getting injections at anytime. In some women, it can take a few months for periods to return to a regular pattern once they have stopped the injection.

For more information on LARC go to: http://www.healthscotland.com/documents/3521.aspx this document is also translated in a number of other languges including: Bengali, Chinese, Polish and Urdu.

If you are a Health Professional and you are looking for more information on the Health Scotland LARC Campaign  then go to: http://www.healthscotland.com/documents/3525.aspx

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