Perhaps one of the best advances in contraception for women over the last decade is the use of long acting reversible contraception, which includes 3 different IUD’s(intrauterine contraceptive device) and one implant. These four products have unfortunately been under utilized in adolescents and adults which has resulted in a very high unintended pregnancy rate in the United States of over 40%! This is ridiculously too high and unnecessary. The 3 IUD’s available in the marketplace are the Paraguard, the Mirena , and the Skyla (newly introduced). All three can be inserted quickly and safely when patients are on their menses during a brief office visit. They are particularly beneficial in adolescents who have trouble remembering to take a pill everyday as well as college bound girls who find it problematic to keep going to a local pharmacy to have their prescription filled every month. The last LARC is a 1-2 inch thin implanted device inserted in the arm underneath the skin and lasts for 3 years. It is called Nexplanon and is available everywhere in the United States. The advantages and benefits are numerous for all 4 types of LARC. In the second of this 5 part series on contraception, I will be discussing the use of the implantable device, Nexplanon. Be sure and talk to your gynecologist during your next annual exam about all 4 options on long acting reversible contraception and make an informed, intelligent choice for your contraceptive needs. Just set it and forget it!
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