Long-acting reversible contraceptives becoming method of choice for many women

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gytu7888Recent data from the CDC show that the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) has increased substantially in the last decade. These contraceptive methods include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and subdermal hormonal implants. Their benefits are clear there is no need to remember to swallow a pill, or interrupt (or plan for) sex to employ a barrier method (specifically, condoms). And most important, LARCs are very effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies.

In 2002, only 1.5 percent of women aged 15-44 used LARCs; by 2011-2013, that use had grown to over 7 percent. The highest use has been by women aged 25-34. And among these women, the rate of LARC use more than doubled between surveys done in 2006-2010 and those done between 2011-2013.

Those women who had had a child were more likely to use LARCs than women who had never had a baby, but use increased in both groups.

There were some differences in use among racial and ethnic groups: Between 2006-2010 and 2011-2013, LARC use increased by 128 percent in white women, and by 129 percent in Hispanic women, but by only 30 percent in non-Hispanic black women. The CDC did not give any explanation for these differences.

ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava had this comment, I m not at all surprised that LARCs have become more popular. After all, they re very effective and require no effort on the part of women (or men) to remember to use a contraceptive method. The only drawback is that they do not protect against sexually-transmitted diseases. Such protection requires a barrier method, such as a condom. And of course vaccination against the human papilloma virus (HPV), as we have counseled in the past, will protect against that specific STD.