Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA.
Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 5.18). 03/2011; 117(3):705-19. DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31820ce2f0
Source: PubMed


The provision of effective contraception is fundamental to the practice of women's health care. The most effective methods of reversible contraception are the so-called long-acting reversible contraceptives, intrauterine devices and implants. These methods have multiple advantages over other reversible methods. Most importantly, once in place, they do not require maintenance and their duration of action is long, ranging from 3 to 10 years. Despite the advantages of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods, they are infrequently used in the United States. Short-acting methods, specifically oral contraceptives and condoms, are by far the most commonly used reversible methods. A shift from the use of short-acting methods to long-acting reversible contraceptive methods could help reduce the high rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States. In this review of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods, we discuss the intrauterine devices and the contraceptive implant available in the United States, and we describe candidates for each method, noncontraceptive benefits, and management of complications.

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    • "The high failure rate of short-acting contraceptive methods indicates a need to recommend LARC to young women, which once inserted can be forgotten.37,38 Many adolescent and nulliparous women prefer the IUD over non-LARC methods when they are properly informed about the advantages over short-acting methods. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The purpose of this study was to provide additional data on the experience with frameless copper and levonorgestrel (LNG) intrauterine devices (IUDs) in nulliparous and adolescent women. Methods Nulliparous and adolescent women, 25 years of age or younger, using the frameless copper IUD or the frameless LNG-releasing intrauterine system (IUS), were selected from previous studies and a current multicenter post-marketing study with the frameless copper IUD. The small copper-releasing GyneFix® 200 IUD consists of four copper cylinders, each 5 mm long and only 2.2 mm wide. The frameless FibroPlant® LNG-IUS consists of a fibrous delivery system releasing the hormone levonorgestrel (LNG-IUS). The main features of these intrauterine contraceptives are that they are frameless, flexible, and anchored to the fundus of the uterus. Results One hundred and fifty-four nulliparous and adolescent women participated in the combined study. One pregnancy occurred with the GyneFix 200 IUD after unnoticed early expulsion of the device (cumulative pregnancy rate 1.1 at one year). Two further expulsions were reported, one with the GyneFix 200 IUD and the other with the FibroPlant LNG-IUS. The cumulative expulsion rate at one year was 1.1 with the copper IUD and 2.2 with the LNG-IUS. The total discontinuation rate at one year was low (3.3 and 4.3 with the copper IUD and LNG-IUS, respectively) and resulted in a high rate of continuation of use at one year (96.7 with the copper IUD and 95.7 with the LNG-IUS, respectively). Continuation rates for both frameless copper IUD and frameless LNG-IUS remained high at 3 years (>90%). There were no cases of perforations or pelvic inflammatory disease reported during or following insertion. Conclusion This report confirms earlier studies with frameless devices and suggests that the high user continuation rate is attributable to the optimal relationship between the IUD and the uterine cavity. IUD studies have shown that an IUD that does not fit well will often lead to side effects (ie, pain, bleeding, embedment, expulsion) and subsequent removal of the IUD. Early discontinuation is not the aim of long-acting reversible contraception.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · International Journal of Women's Health
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    • "Scientific evidence has determined implant and copper-bearing Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) contraceptives to be highly effective and well tolerated [10,11]. Similarly, injectables and implants are proven to be safe, effective and reversible contraceptive options [12,13]. Despite evidence of LARC effectiveness and safety, actual uptake in resource-poor settings like Uganda is low, and is possibly affected by several factors such as knowledge and general awareness of contraceptive methods [14], access to different contraceptive methods, user characteristics, technology [15] and socio-economic status [16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Uganda has one of the highest total fertility rates globally and in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her high fertility is mainly attributed to the high unmet need for family planning. Use of Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) is low (13%) in Uganda yet they are the most cost-effective contraceptives. This study aimed to assess the reproductive aged women's knowledge, attitudes, and factors associated with use of LARC. A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 565 women (15-49 years) attending private and public health facilities in Lubaga division, Kampala district. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to measure knowledge, attitudes and factors associated with use of LARC; Intra-Uterine Devices, Implants and Injectables. The outcome variable was current use of LARC. A generalized linear regression model was run in STATA version12.0. Prevalence Risk Ratios for associations between current LARC use and independent factors were obtained and regarded significant at 95% CI with p < 0.05. Mean age (SD) and current use of LARC was 26.34 (5.35) and 31.7% respectively. Factors associated with current use of LARC were; previous use adj.PRR 2.89; (95%CI 2.29, 3.81), knowledge of implant administration site adj.PRR 1.83; (95%CI 1.17, 2.87), and perception that; male partner decisions positively influence their contraceptive choices adj.PRR 1.49; (95%CI 1.18, 1.88). Contrary, perception that LARC should be used by married women was negatively associated with use of LARC adj.PRR 0.63; (95%CI 0.44, 0.90). Knowledge about site of administration, previous use of LARC and women's attitude that male partners' choice influence their contraceptive decisions were positively associated with current use of LARC. Contrary, the attitude that LARC was for married women was negatively associated with its use. This study suggests a need to strengthen client education about LARC to dispel possible myths and to consider integrating male partner's decision making in contraceptive choices for women.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · BMC Research Notes
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    • "It has also been reported that during 2009, over 400,000 births in the US occurred among women under 20 years of age, with 19% of those being adolescents who had already given birth to one or more children [3]. In the US, combined oral contraceptives (COCs) and condoms are the most commonly used reversible contraceptives [4] [5] [6]. This scenario is similar in Brazil, where COCs are the most prevalent (20.7%) reversible form of contraception followed by condom (4.4%) among users of contraceptive methods [7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) include the copper-releasing intrauterine device (IUD), the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) and implants. Despite the high contraceptive efficacy of LARCs, their prevalence of use remains low in many countries. The objective of this study was to assess the main reasons for switching from contraceptive methods requiring daily or monthly compliance to LARC methods within a Brazilian cohort. Women of 18-50 years of age using different contraceptives and wishing to switch to a LARC method answered a questionnaire regarding their motivations for switching from their current contraceptive. Continuation rates were evaluated 1 year after method initiation. Sample size was calculated at 1040 women. Clinical performance was evaluated by life table analysis. The cutoff date for analysis was May 23, 2013. Overall, 1167 women were interviewed; however, after 1 year of use, the medical records of only 1154 women were available for review. The main personal reason for switching, as reported by the women, was "fear of becoming pregnant" while the main medical reasons were nausea and vomiting and unscheduled bleeding. No pregnancies occurred during LARC use, and the main reasons for discontinuation were expulsion (in the case of the IUD and LNG-IUS) and a decision to undergo surgical sterilization (in the case of the etonogestrel-releasing implant). Continuation rate was ~95.0/100 women/year for the three methods. Most women chose a LARC method for its safety and for practical reasons, and after 1 year of use, most women continued with the method.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Contraception
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