Collectively, the methods referred to as long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are the birth control implant, Nexplanon®, progestin intrauterine system, Mirena®, and the copper T intrauterine device, ParaGard®. All of these methods can be safely used by women and teens, and all of these methods have less than a 1% failure rate for typical users (World Health Organization, 2010).
Through a special program, CHOICES can now act as the payor of last resort for LARCs. This means that you can get an IUD or implant at CHOICES at no direct cost to you.
If you are insured, we will bill your insurance plan for the device and covered services. CHOICES will then cover any additional co-pay or deductible your plan may require. If you are not insured, CHOICES will provide the LARC and all related services required for insertion at no charge.
Covered services include initial/counseling visit, device cost and insertion visit, STI testing, cervical cancer screening (if indicated), and one follow-up visit. Eligible devices include:
How effective are IUDs?
Effectiveness is an important and common concern when choosing a birth control method. IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control available. Less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they use the ParaGard®, Liletta® or the Mirena® IUD. Keep in mind that the IUD doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections. Use a latex or female condom along with the IUD to reduce the risk of infection.
How safe are IUDs?
Most women can use ParaGard®, Liletta® or the Mirena® IUD safely. But all medications have some risks, so safety is a common concern when choosing a birth control method. Certain conditions increase the risk of side effects. Talk with your health care provider about your health and whether an IUD is likely to be safe for you. There are many other methods of birth control that may be safe for you if you cannot use an IUD. A health care provider may find that the unique size, shape, or condition of a woman’s uterus does not allow correct placement of an IUD. This is not common.
What are the benefits of an IUD?
The ParaGard®, Liletta® and the Mirena® IUDs are some of the least expensive, longest lasting forms of birth control available to women today. There are many other benefits.
- IUDs may improve your sex life. There is nothing to put in place before intercourse to prevent pregnancy. Some women say that they feel free to be more spontaneous because they do not have to worry about becoming pregnant.
- The ParaGard® IUD does not change a woman’s hormone levels.
- The Mirena® IUD may reduce period cramps and make your period lighter. On average, menstrual flow is reduced by 90 percent. For some women, periods stop altogether.
- IUDs can be used during breast-feeding.
- The ability to become pregnant returns quickly once the IUD is removed.
Some women may worry that they are pregnant if they do not have a regular period. But the IUD is very effective. If you are concerned about a possible pregnancy, you can always take a pregnancy test. Overall, most women who get an IUD are satisfied with their choice. Ninety-nine percent of IUD users are pleased with them.
What is NEXPLANON®?
NEXPLANON® is a type of birth control for women. It is a small flexible plastic rod the length of a matchstick that is placed under the skin of your arm. NEXPLANON® contains a hormone called etonogestrel. The NEXPLANON® rod can prevent pregnancy for up to three years.
How is NEXPLANON® inserted?
NEXPLANON® insertion is a minor procedure that can be performed in our office. NEXPLANON® is inserted just under the skin on the inner side of your upper arm. The entire procedure is done using a local anesthetic and generally takes a few minutes. NEXPLANON® is only available to healthcare providers who have completed a comprehensive practical training session consisting of a company-sponsored, 3-hour, hands-on workshop covering clinical data, insertion, removal, and counseling.
What are side effects with NEXPLANON®?
The most common side effect of NEXPLANON® is a change in your menstrual periods. In studies, about 1 in 10 women stopped using NEXPLANON® because of bleeding problems. Expect your bleeding to be irregular and unpredictable throughout the time you are using NEXPLANON®. You may have more bleeding, less bleeding, or no bleeding. The time between bleeding may vary, and you may have spotting throughout the month. Other common side effects reported in women using NEXPLANON® during clinical trials include: headache; vaginitis; weight gain; acne; breast pain; viral infections such as colds, sore throats, sinus infections, or flu-like symptoms; stomach pain; cramping during bleeding; mood swings; nervousness or depression; back pain; nausea; dizziness; pain; and pain at the site of insertion.
How does NEXPLANON® work?
NEXPLANON® prevents pregnancy in several ways. The most important way is by stopping release of an egg from your ovary. NEXPLANON® also changes the mucus in your cervix and this change may keep sperm from reaching the egg. Also, NEXPLANON® changes the lining of your uterus.
How effective is NEXPLANON®?
If NEXPLANON® is inserted correctly, your chance of getting pregnant is very low (less than one pregnancy per 100 women who use NEXPLANON® for one year). NEXPLANON® must be removed by the end of the third year and may be replaced with a new NEXPLANON®. It is not known if NEXPLANON® is as effective in very overweight women because clinical studies did not include many overweight women. Certain medicines may make NEXPLANON® less effective, and you may also need to use a barrier method of contraception while you are using these medicines.