There are many myths surrounding LARC so we have highlighted the top 10 myths below and have answered each one.
1. All types of contraception require you take everyday
False. There are many methods of contraception available that once given can work for a number of weeks or even years! These methods are often referred to as long-acting reversible contraception (LARC).
Depending upon the type of method used, this will determine how often it will need to be renewed. For example, contraceptive injections are administered every 12-13 weeks. Implants last up to 3 years and depending on the type the IUD and IUS can remain in place between 3 – 10 years.
2. You need parental permission to receive LARC methods
False, healthcare professionals are legally allowed to provide contraceptive advice and treatment to sexually active young people under the age of 16 without parental consent. Find out more about your rights when visiting a sexual health clinic.
3.That contraception is just limited to the pill and condoms
False, there are many different contraception methods available but LARC methods are known to be more effective than the pill and condoms as they do not need to be taken daily. These include the implant, injection, IUD & IUS.
However, LARC methods do not protect again STIs so use condoms as well!
4. Fertility does not go back to normal after the removal of LARC methods
False. 43% of women do not know that the IUS, IUD and implant can be removed at any time by a trained healthcare professional. These methods are suitable for most women of reproductive age and fertility will return quickly once removed.
However, after the injection the return of your fertility may be delayed (for some this may be as long as a year). However, it is important to remember if you stop using a method of contraception and you do not want to get pregnant then you must start to use a different method straight away.
5. Protects against STI
6. If the implant is left in too long it causes infertility
False. The implant should be removed when the device has expired. We cannot guarantee the effectiveness of the implant past the expiry date so it is important to either have the implant replaced or start an alternative method of contraception. The implant cannot cause infertility.
7. You cannot use the IUS/IUD if you have not had children
8. You can still be fitted with an IUD/IUS if you are pregnant
9. The insertion of implants requires surgery and insertion is painful and can cause infection
The implant is fitted by a healthcare professional that has been trained specifically to perform this procedure. Local anaesthetic is used to numb the area so should not be painful. The implant is inserted under the skin using a specialist device.
After the insertion you are advised to keep the area clean and dry. A small dressing can be left in place for a number of days. The healthcare professional will explain to you that with any procedure there is always a very small risk of infection. However, if you follow the advice given this should be unlikely. Very often paper stitches are only used when the implant is removed. These are normally left in place for up to 5 days – and you can remove yourself.
10. LARC methods interfere with sex
LARC methods do not interfere with sex.