LARC - Long-acting reversible contraception

There are several methods known as LARC: the non-hormonal copper coil (the IUD), the hormonal coil (the IUS), the contraceptive injection (the Depo-Provera) and the hormonal implant (Nexplanon).

You do not have to pay for the IUD, IUS, contraceptive injection and hormonal implant, as they are all available for free on the NHS. You cannot buy them yourself at a pharmacy.

Women attending for IUD/S (coil) appointments should have had a recent sexual health screen (for chlamydia and gonorrhoea) and should not have had unprotected sex (i.e. should be on a method of hormonal contraception or have used condoms) from the time of the last period until the IUD is inserted.

To make an appointment call us: 01432 483693 or 0800 7720478. We will give you an appointment within 2 weeks.

The IUD and the IUS can also be obtained from your GP.

The NHS choices website provides information about the many methods of contraception that are available in our service.   The FPA is also a really good source of information relating to sexual health and contraception.

  1. contraceptive implant
  2. contraceptive injection 
  3. contraceptive patch
  4. IUD (intrauterine device or coil)
  5. IUS (intrauterine system or hormonal coil)

You can find out about other methods of contraception here.

On the day of your appointment

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment for registration
  • Please allow at least 2 hours for the appointment. Although the procedure does not take this long, a few women need a little more time to recover after the procedure.
  • If you need to bring your child/children then you must bring someone to look after them while you are having the fitting
  • You may wish to bring a friend/partner with you but please be aware they will not be able to be in the room with you during the procedure.
  • If possible we advise you avoid driving immediately after your fitting

Implant

The contraceptive implant is a type of LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraception). The implant is a small and flexible plastic rod that is inserted beneath the skin in your upper arm. It can stay in place for 3 years, but can also be removed at any time during the 3 years.  Once the implant is removed your fertility will return to normal.  It is suitable for those women who can’t take Oestrogen.

How does it work?

The implant releases a hormone (progestogen) into your bloodstream which prevents a woman from ovulating (releasing an egg) . It also thickens the mucous that sits in the cervix (neck of the womb) making it difficult for the sperm to swim through and it makes the lining of the uterus (womb) thin, so the environment isn’t suitable for implantation of an egg.

How effective is it?

It is over 99% effective and once in place it works for 3 years.  It’s a good choice for women who find it difficult to remember to take the pill.. As with most methods, it will work really well to prevent a pregnancy, but doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections, so you will need to use condoms as well.

What are the disadvantages?

Your periods may change, sometimes, they last a little longer, at other times becoming irregular or even stopping completely.  It is not a problem if they stop; it is because it’s working well to keep the lining in your uterus (womb) thin, so that there is little or nothing to shed.

Click here for more information on the contraceptive implant

Contraceptive Injection

The injection is a type of Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC).

How does it work?

The commonest one we use is Depo-Provera which works by releasing progestogen into the bloodstream, preventing a woman from ovulating (releasing an egg) . It also thickens the mucous that sits in the cervix (neck of the womb) making it difficult for the sperm to swim through and it makes the lining of the uterus (womb) thin, so the environment isn’t suitable for implantation of an egg. 

The injection is usually given in your bottom but can also be injected into the upper arm. Once this has been done, you will only need to go back when your next one is due, unless you have any problems.

How effective is it?

It is over 99% effective and is suitable for those women who can’t take Oestrogen.  It’s a good choice for women who find it difficult to remember to take the pill. As with most methods, it will work really well to prevent a pregnancy, but doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections, so you will need to use condoms as well.

What are the disadvantages?

It can take up to a year for your fertility to return once the injection has run out. Periods can become irregular or stop completely. It is not a problem if they stop; it is because it’s working well to keep the lining in your uterus (womb) thin, so that there is little or nothing to shed.

Click here for more information on the contraceptive injection

Contraceptive Patch

The contraceptive patch is a small patch that is stuck to the skin and releases both oestrogen and progestogen into the bloodstream.  The patch can be applied on most areas of skin, providing that it is clean, dry and not too hairy.

How does it work?

The hormones are the same as those in the combined pill, so it works in the same way by preventing a woman from ovulating (releasing an egg).

It also thickens the mucous that sits in the cervix (neck of the womb) making it difficult for the sperm to swim through and it makes the lining of the uterus (womb) thin, so the environment isn’t suitable for implantation of an egg.  For some women periods may become more regular, lighter and less painful.

How effective is it?

 It is over 99% effective, if used correctly. You have to replace the patch every week.  You use the patch for 3 weeks out of 4. Unlike the pill it still works even when you have had sickness and diarrhoea.  As with most methods, it will work really well to prevent a pregnancy, but doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections, so you will need to use condoms as well.

What are the disadvantages?

The patch isn’t recommended for very overweight women or smokers aged over 35. 

Breakthrough bleeding and spotting is quite common in the first few months.

Some women experience a skin reaction and it may be visible on the skin when wearing certain clothing.

Click here for more information on contraceptive patch

IUD (intrauterine device or coil)

The IUD is another type of Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC). A small plastic device that uses copper is put into the uterus (womb), it is completely hormone-free.

How does it work?

The IUD releases copper into the body to protect against pregnancy and is occasionally referred to as a “coil” or “copper coil”. It can be used as emergency contraception and then can be left in (if the woman wishes).  The copper in the IUD alters the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg and survive.  It doesn’t stop ovulation; rather it can also stop a fertilised egg from being able to implant itself.

How effective is it?

It is over 99% effective and works as soon as it is fitted.  . It can stay in place  for 5-10 years.  As with most methods, it will work really well to prevent a pregnancy, but doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections, so you will need to use condoms as well.

What are the disadvantages?

It is possible, but uncommon that your uterus may push out the IUD; this is why the nurse or doctor will show you how to check your IUD threads, to make sure it’s still in place.  For some women, periods may be heavier or longer and more painful. It can cause some discomfort and cramping for the first few days, after its fitted. 

Whilst the IUD doesn’t increase your risk of an STI,  if you get an STI while the IUD is in place this could lead to a pelvic infection if not treated.

Click here for more information on IUD (intrauterine device or coil)

Intrauterine System – IUS/Coil

The IUS is a type  of Long Acting Reversible contraception LARC.   A doctor or nurse will insert a small, T-shaped plastic device, about the size of a match, into the uterus (womb).  Unlike the copper IUD/Coil, the IUS/Coil has progesterone in it. 

How does it work?

The IUS releases progestogen into the womb, which thickens the mucous in the cervix (neck of the womb) and thins the lining of the uterus (womb), to prevent pregnancy. In some women, it can also prevent ovulation although this is not the case for most.    Periods will usually become much lighter and shorter and sometimes less painful. They may even stop completely after the first year of use. It is not a problem if they stop; it is because it’s working well to keep the lining in your uterus (womb) thin, so that there is little or nothing to shed.

How effective is it?

It is over 99% effective and can stay in place for 3 or 5 years.   

What are the disadvantages?

It is possible that your uterus may push out the IUS. Although uncommon, this is why the nurse or doctor will show you how to check your IUS threads.

It may cause discomfort and cramping for the first few days.

Click here for more information on IUS (intrauterine system or hormonal coil)

  • LARC - Long-acting reversible contraception
  • LARC - Long-acting reversible contraception

    There are several methods known as LARC: the non-hormonal copper coil (the IUD), the hormonal coil (the IUS), the contraceptive injection (the Depo-Provera) and the hormonal implant (Nexplanon).

    You do not have to pay for the IUD, IUS, contraceptive injection and hormonal implant, as they are all available for free on the NHS. You cannot buy them yourself at a pharmacy.

    Women attending for IUD/S (coil) appointments should have had a recent sexual health screen (for chlamydia and gonorrhoea) and should not have had unprotected sex (i.e. should be on a method of hormonal contraception or have used condoms) from the time of the last period until the IUD is inserted.

    To make an appointment call us: 01432 483693 or 0800 7720478. We will give you an appointment within 2 weeks.

    The IUD and the IUS can also be obtained from your GP.

    The NHS choices website provides information about the many methods of contraception that are available in our service.   The FPA is also a really good source of information relating to sexual health and contraception.

    1. contraceptive implant
    2. contraceptive injection 
    3. contraceptive patch
    4. IUD (intrauterine device or coil)
    5. IUS (intrauterine system or hormonal coil)

    You can find out about other methods of contraception here.

  • On the day of your appointment
  • On the day of your appointment

    • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment for registration
    • Please allow at least 2 hours for the appointment. Although the procedure does not take this long, a few women need a little more time to recover after the procedure.
    • If you need to bring your child/children then you must bring someone to look after them while you are having the fitting
    • You may wish to bring a friend/partner with you but please be aware they will not be able to be in the room with you during the procedure.
    • If possible we advise you avoid driving immediately after your fitting
  • Implant
  • Implant

    The contraceptive implant is a type of LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraception). The implant is a small and flexible plastic rod that is inserted beneath the skin in your upper arm. It can stay in place for 3 years, but can also be removed at any time during the 3 years.  Once the implant is removed your fertility will return to normal.  It is suitable for those women who can’t take Oestrogen.

    How does it work?

    The implant releases a hormone (progestogen) into your bloodstream which prevents a woman from ovulating (releasing an egg) . It also thickens the mucous that sits in the cervix (neck of the womb) making it difficult for the sperm to swim through and it makes the lining of the uterus (womb) thin, so the environment isn’t suitable for implantation of an egg.

    How effective is it?

    It is over 99% effective and once in place it works for 3 years.  It’s a good choice for women who find it difficult to remember to take the pill.. As with most methods, it will work really well to prevent a pregnancy, but doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections, so you will need to use condoms as well.

    What are the disadvantages?

    Your periods may change, sometimes, they last a little longer, at other times becoming irregular or even stopping completely.  It is not a problem if they stop; it is because it’s working well to keep the lining in your uterus (womb) thin, so that there is little or nothing to shed.

    Click here for more information on the contraceptive implant

  • Contraceptive Injection
  • Contraceptive Injection

    The injection is a type of Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC).

    How does it work?

    The commonest one we use is Depo-Provera which works by releasing progestogen into the bloodstream, preventing a woman from ovulating (releasing an egg) . It also thickens the mucous that sits in the cervix (neck of the womb) making it difficult for the sperm to swim through and it makes the lining of the uterus (womb) thin, so the environment isn’t suitable for implantation of an egg. 

    The injection is usually given in your bottom but can also be injected into the upper arm. Once this has been done, you will only need to go back when your next one is due, unless you have any problems.

    How effective is it?

    It is over 99% effective and is suitable for those women who can’t take Oestrogen.  It’s a good choice for women who find it difficult to remember to take the pill. As with most methods, it will work really well to prevent a pregnancy, but doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections, so you will need to use condoms as well.

    What are the disadvantages?

    It can take up to a year for your fertility to return once the injection has run out. Periods can become irregular or stop completely. It is not a problem if they stop; it is because it’s working well to keep the lining in your uterus (womb) thin, so that there is little or nothing to shed.

    Click here for more information on the contraceptive injection

  • Contraceptive Patch
  • Contraceptive Patch

    The contraceptive patch is a small patch that is stuck to the skin and releases both oestrogen and progestogen into the bloodstream.  The patch can be applied on most areas of skin, providing that it is clean, dry and not too hairy.

    How does it work?

    The hormones are the same as those in the combined pill, so it works in the same way by preventing a woman from ovulating (releasing an egg).

    It also thickens the mucous that sits in the cervix (neck of the womb) making it difficult for the sperm to swim through and it makes the lining of the uterus (womb) thin, so the environment isn’t suitable for implantation of an egg.  For some women periods may become more regular, lighter and less painful.

    How effective is it?

     It is over 99% effective, if used correctly. You have to replace the patch every week.  You use the patch for 3 weeks out of 4. Unlike the pill it still works even when you have had sickness and diarrhoea.  As with most methods, it will work really well to prevent a pregnancy, but doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections, so you will need to use condoms as well.

    What are the disadvantages?

    The patch isn’t recommended for very overweight women or smokers aged over 35. 

    Breakthrough bleeding and spotting is quite common in the first few months.

    Some women experience a skin reaction and it may be visible on the skin when wearing certain clothing.

    Click here for more information on contraceptive patch

  • IUD (intrauterine device or coil)
  • IUD (intrauterine device or coil)

    The IUD is another type of Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC). A small plastic device that uses copper is put into the uterus (womb), it is completely hormone-free.

    How does it work?

    The IUD releases copper into the body to protect against pregnancy and is occasionally referred to as a “coil” or “copper coil”. It can be used as emergency contraception and then can be left in (if the woman wishes).  The copper in the IUD alters the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg and survive.  It doesn’t stop ovulation; rather it can also stop a fertilised egg from being able to implant itself.

    How effective is it?

    It is over 99% effective and works as soon as it is fitted.  . It can stay in place  for 5-10 years.  As with most methods, it will work really well to prevent a pregnancy, but doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections, so you will need to use condoms as well.

    What are the disadvantages?

    It is possible, but uncommon that your uterus may push out the IUD; this is why the nurse or doctor will show you how to check your IUD threads, to make sure it’s still in place.  For some women, periods may be heavier or longer and more painful. It can cause some discomfort and cramping for the first few days, after its fitted. 

    Whilst the IUD doesn’t increase your risk of an STI,  if you get an STI while the IUD is in place this could lead to a pelvic infection if not treated.

    Click here for more information on IUD (intrauterine device or coil)

  • Intrauterine System – IUS/Coil
  • Intrauterine System – IUS/Coil

    The IUS is a type  of Long Acting Reversible contraception LARC.   A doctor or nurse will insert a small, T-shaped plastic device, about the size of a match, into the uterus (womb).  Unlike the copper IUD/Coil, the IUS/Coil has progesterone in it. 

    How does it work?

    The IUS releases progestogen into the womb, which thickens the mucous in the cervix (neck of the womb) and thins the lining of the uterus (womb), to prevent pregnancy. In some women, it can also prevent ovulation although this is not the case for most.    Periods will usually become much lighter and shorter and sometimes less painful. They may even stop completely after the first year of use. It is not a problem if they stop; it is because it’s working well to keep the lining in your uterus (womb) thin, so that there is little or nothing to shed.

    How effective is it?

    It is over 99% effective and can stay in place for 3 or 5 years.   

    What are the disadvantages?

    It is possible that your uterus may push out the IUS. Although uncommon, this is why the nurse or doctor will show you how to check your IUS threads.

    It may cause discomfort and cramping for the first few days.

    Click here for more information on IUS (intrauterine system or hormonal coil)