Health Matters: Long-acting birth control methods
Birth control methods are a topic fraught with debate over which ones are most effective, which ones have the fewest side effects or which ones are easiest to use.
While condoms and birth control pills are the most often used, doctors often encourage women looking for long-term options to pick methods that last years, said University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences Assistant Professor Dr. Mallory Scogin.
“Long-acting reversible contraceptives are extremely effective forms of birth control that are good for your longer than usual use of birth control,” Scogin said.
Long-acting contraceptives include:
- Intrauterine devices/IUDs placed within the uterus. IUDs can be removed when they expire or any time beforehand and include:
- The hormone-free copper-based device ParaGard, which can last up to 10 years
- Hormone-distributing devices like Mirena, which can last from three to eight years
- Contraceptive implants
- Nexplanon is placed in the upper arm and prevents pregnancy for three years
While long-active contraceptives prevent pregnancy, they do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and that’s an important consideration for anyone who is having sex.
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For all your primary health care needs, visit University Medical Center, with locations in Tuscaloosa, Northport, Demopolis, Fayette, Carrollton and Livingston.