Perhaps you’ve had a few too many broken condoms ruining the moment. Or do you struggle to remember to take the Pill every day? Want contraception that lasts a long time?Or maybe you want the option of an incredibly effective, reversible, yet hormone-free method of birth control. Maybe it’s time to consider a Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC).
There are plenty of reasons why you might consider an IUD or an Implanon, but before you settle on one, there are few things you need to know.
IUDs are split into two categories: hormonal and non-hormonal. Hormonal IUDs use varying levels of progestin, the synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, to prevent pregnancy. Progestin thins your uterine lining, thickens cervical mucus so it’s harder for sperm to swim through, and partially suppresses ovulation so sometimes there’s no egg to be fertilized in the first place. There’s only one non-hormonal IUD, which releases copper that bathes the lining of your uterus, creating an inflammatory reaction that’s toxic to sperm.
Here are a few reasons why an IUD could be an excellent choice for you.
- You want highly effective birth control.
Research that has been done shows that hormonal IUDs fail just 0.2 percent of the time while the copper IUD fails 0.8 percent of the time. This means fewer than one out of 100 women will get pregnant each year when using an IUD. A lot of this comes down to the fact that IUDs are hard to mess up.
- You want protection for years but also want your fertility to return ASAP when you stop using contraception.
Hormonal IUD is recommended for up to five years, same as a copper IUD. So if you’re looking for long-term birth control (rather than, say, only-use-it-when-you-need-it birth control like condoms), this could be a great option.
Then, if you decide you want to try to have a baby, just schedule an IUD removal with your doctor (the process is typically pretty painless, experts say), and you can start trying to conceive right away. For comparison’s sake, it can take up to 10 months or more for ovulation to start back up after stopping the Implanon.
- You’d prefer a birth control option without any hormones.
Some just aren’t into the idea of taking hormonal birth control. Maybe you’ve had a bad reaction to one in the past. In that case, a copper IUD might be a good choice for you.
While there are other hormone-free methods of birth control like condoms and fertility-based awareness methods, your overall options are pretty limited. If hormones aren’t your bag, talk to your doctor about the possibility of going with the copper IUD.
IUDs—like any form of birth control—can be perfect for some people and inadvisable for others. It all comes down to your unique medical history and anatomy as well as your lifestyle and preferences when it comes to contraception. So be prepared to have a thorough discussion with your doctor to figure out if an IUD is right for you.
Implanon is a small plastic rod containing a progestogen hormone. It is inserted under the skin on the inside of the upper arm by a doctor or nurse, and slowly releases the hormone into the bloodstream. Sometimes Implanon is called ‘the implant’ or ‘the rod’.
Here is why an Implanon might be best for you!
- It has one of the highest levels of effectiveness of all contraceptives!
It is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and can last for up to three years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the typical use failure rate is 0.05 percent or less.
- It’s easily inserted!
The implant is inserted (injected) under the skin of your inner upper arm by a trained doctor or nurse. A local anaesthetic is used so that you will not feel pain when this is happening.
- It has 2 mechanisms of action on preventing pregnancy.
The implant works by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg each month.
It also thickens the fluid around the cervix, (opening to the uterus/womb). This helps to prevent the sperm from entering.
What are the advantages?
- Long acting – it lasts for up to 3 years
- Reversible – you can choose to have it taken out at any time. After that, you will be able to get pregnant again
- 99% effective – it works very well
- You don’t need to think about contraception every day
Studies show that implants do NOT cause any change in your weight, mood, sex drive, or give you headaches.
There’s a birth control option to fit almost any lifestyle. For the most part, the more effective methods are available via prescription. Visiting a doctor might seem a little inconvenient, but it also brings benefits like an opportunity to check up on all aspects of your reproductive health. That’s important whether you decide to have kids or not. Talk to your doctor to decide on your options!