Long-Acting Birth Control Options: Easy and Reliable

Columbus gynecologist

A woman’s satisfaction with a birth control method can affect her success in preventing pregnancy.  Your Columbus gynecologist Dr. Otto Umana said many of his patients are finding what they need with long-acting, reversible contraceptives.

LARC
These long-acting – and reversible –  contraceptives include devices (IUDs) that contain a copper or a hormone that are inserted into a woman’s uterus.   Another type that is a hormonal implant that is inserted under the skin of the woman’s upper arm.

These devices are in the ‘most effective’ category of contraception, ranking even higher than birth control pills, injections, hormone patches or vaginal rings. And your Columbus gynecologist reports that they are typically effective for a number of years at a time and they can be removed when a woman makes the decision to become pregnant.

His patients appreciate not having to take a pill every day, get an injection in a timely manner every three months, remove or change a skin patch every week or a vaginal ring every three weeks. Longer-acting birth control methods also mean women are less likely to have breaks in use or to simply stop using birth control even though they don’t want to become pregnant.

According to your Columbus gynecologist, most women of childbearing age (including teens) –  whether or not they have had a child – are able to use these devices. Those patients who hope to become pregnant in the future appreciate that their fertility returns rather quickly after the device is removed.

Long-acting devices are inserted in the office of your Columbus gynecologist. After giving birth, a woman who wants to use birth control immediately may choose to have an IUD inserted while she is still in the hospital after labor.

Other Options?
The other types of contraception contain hormones, and therefore a woman maybe advised to have it inserted at a later time, especially if nursing. For emergency contraception, a copper IUD can be inserted within five days after the woman has had unprotected sex and then provide ongoing birth control. The hormonal intrauterine device is also used for the treatment of especially heavy menstrual periods. However, these contraceptives do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

According to your Columbus gynecologist, the number of patients who discontinue long-acting methods because of the side effects associated with them is low, but problems can occur, and some may be serious.

Choosing birth control is a very personal matter, and it’s always smart to talk with your Columbus gynecologist about the risks and benefits for any device or procedure.


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Dr. Otto Umana Otto Umana
MD, FACOG
 
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