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Long Acting Reversible Contraception – Could it be for you?

Dr Christabel Crompton MBBS/DRCOG (UK), FRACGP, Dip. Child Health

Almost 50 per cent of pregnancies in Australia are unplanned. The most commonly used contraceptive methods are condoms and the Pill.

However, there are alternatives which are long acting, don’t rely on remembering to take a pill every day and are much more effective.

The implant (Implanon) is a small plastic rod placed under the skin of your upper arm. It contains the hormone etonogestrel, which is similar to the naturally occurring hormone progesterone, made by a woman’s ovaries. When inserted correctly by your doctor it is 99 per cent effective and lasts for three years.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are another great option for preventing pregnancy. They are small devices which are placed inside the womb by a doctor.

There are 2 types of IUD:
• Hormonal IUD (Mirena)
• Copper IUD

The hormonal IUD (Mirena) is a small plastic T-shaped device that contains progestogen. This is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone that women make naturally. The device has a coating that controls the release of progestogen into the uterus.

The Mirena will make periods much lighter and in many cases, stop them completely, making it ideal for women who have heavy and painful periods. It can stay in place for up to five years.

A copper IUD is a small plastic device which has copper wire wrapped around its stem. There are two types of copper IUDs currently available in Australia, one which lasts up to five years and the other up to ten years.

Most women who want a reliable, long-term contraceptive can use a copper IUD. It is suitable for women who cannot, or prefer not to use a hormonal form of contraception.

Both the copper and hormonal IUD are more than 99 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy.

Implanon and IUDs are all easily removed and won’t stop you from getting pregnant later on. When choosing the method of contraception that best suits you, it can help to talk to your doctor about your options. Different methods may suit you at different times in your life. Your doctor can give you information about the benefits and risks of using Implanon and the copper or hormonal IUD, as well as other methods of contraception.

If you are interested in an implant or IUD please contact our reception team and book a double appointment with Dr Christabel Crompton for an initial discussion and examination. Following this appointment, the booking for your procedure will be made.

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