Long-acting reversible Birth Control (LARC)

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The most important principle of contraceptive counselling is that women can choose for themselves. It is essential that women get a wide selection of choices so that they can choose the method that they consider best for themselves.

All of the hormonal contraceptive methods are very safe, and providing excellent protection against pregnancy. Long-acting reversible birth control (LARC); copper and hormonal IUDs and contraceptive implants are the methods that provide the best protection since the probability of user error is small. International knowledge summaries recommend increased use of LARC.

The World Health Organization (WHO) makes the following recommendations on LARC:

Copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs are excellent and easy to use contraceptives. Most women can use them; completely independent of age and whether they have already given birth. The hormonal IUD also appears to have other health benefits such as a decreased risk of pregnancy outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy). The copper IUD is a good option for women who, due to medical or other reasons, can’t or don’t want to use hormonal contraception.

Women should, to a much greater extent than is the case today, have options and information on contraception that also includes information about the long-acting contraceptive methods. These methods don’t have the probability of user error, and they have a higher degree of effectiveness against pregnancy than most other methods.

It is the health professional’s responsibility to give the woman information about the LARC methods. It is due to a lack of information that health professionals only recommend this to some groups of women. If you lack experience in inserting IUDs or implant, it is important to refer to another health professional who can do this.

Who can use the LARC methods?

  • Women, regardless of whether they have already given birth or not
  • Nursing mothers
  • Women who have aborted, immediately after
  • Women with BMI (body mass index) over 30
  • Women with diabetes
  • Women with migraine
  • Women who should not take estrogen
  • Women with HIV

The Norwegian Medicines Agency has created an overview of all the different types of hormonal contraceptive methods with product facts collected together in one guide. The website provides continually updated reviews on birth control as well as an updated overview of contraceptives that can be obtained from health nurses and midwives. It also has recently published articles with current research on, among other things, the use of hormonal methods of birth control.

Public health nurses and midwives can insert implants and IUDs on referral from a doctor, cf. Section 5 of the Health Personnel Act (lovdata.no): ”Health personnel can let another health professional perform specific functions if this is justifiable judging from the nature of the job, the qualifications of the health professional and the follow up given. The assistants or helpers are subject to the supervision of the health professional”.

Useful information

Read about: Hormonal IUD  | Copper IUD  | Etonogestrel birth control implant | Depo-Provera | Birth control pills  | Mini-pillsFAQ | Affordable birth control