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healthy moms


Long-lasting Contraceptives


WHAT LARCS DO FOR YOU


While the pill may be the most commonly used contraception, there are many great reasons to consider a LARC. IUDs are safe, highly effective choices for most women. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists recommends them as first choice for contraception. Perhaps more importantly, they’re


the “forgettable”


contraceptive. Unlike daily, weekly, or monthly methods, IUDs are inserted and only require minimal attention. Tis makes avoiding pregnancy or spacing your pregnancies much easier. Lastly, when used for at least 2½ years, IUDs are a cheaper to use compared to other contraceptives.


CHOOSING AN IUD


Currently, 3 IUDs are available for use: 1 Te Copper T380, Paragard, has been used in the US


since 1989. It is a non-hormonal plastic copper-containing IUD approved for women who have or haven’t had children for up to 10 years. It prevents pregnancy by inhibiting sperm and ovum (egg) migration and is spermicidal. 2 Te levonorgestrel IUD, Mirena, has been available since


2000. It’s a synthetic progestin hormone that is FDA-approved only for women who have had a child (although many providers


IUD Choices IUD


Copper T380 Paragard


Levonorgestrel IUD 52mg Mirena


Levonorgestrel IUD 13.5mg Skyla


Duration Of Use 10 years 5 years 3 years Hormonal No Yes, progestin only Yes, progestin only


Common Side Effects


Longer, heavier periods


Shorter, lighter, often irregular bleeding


Shorter, lighter, often irregular bleeding


BY SUSAN PECK, MSN, APN


THIS INCREASINGLY POPULAR CONTRACEPTION HELPS YOU AVOID OR SPACE PREGNANCIES


Finally, women have another long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) option. For the first time in 12 years, the FDA has approved a new intrauterine device (IUD), Skyla—and the implant is growing in popularity.


believe in the safety of the device and will offer it to women who haven’t had children). It’s effective for 5 years and prevents pregnancy like the Copper IUD, but also thickens cervical mucus, thereby inhibiting pregnancy. 3 Te newest levonorgestrel containing


IUD is Skyla, recently approved for use in January 2013 for women who have or haven’t had a child and is effective for 3 years. It prevents pregnancy in the same way as Mirena, and overall it’s smaller and shorter acting. Women who haven’t been pregnant may have a smaller uterus, which means Skyla may provide a more comfortable insertion. It’s also an excellent choice for women who may not want to wear it for more than a few years.


Skyla slowly releases the progestin hormone levonorgestrel into the uterus, meaning only small amounts of the hormone enter the blood.


LARC should be considered a safe choice for all childbearing women. Using LARC,


such as one of these IUDs, provides


women with the power to easily control if, when, and how often pregnancy is desired.


SUSAN PECK, MSN, AP, is a women’s health nurse practitioner and an expert advisor to Healthy Mom&Baby in a busy OB/GYN practice in New Jersey.


ISSUE 12 / Fall 2013 Healthy Mom&Baby 17


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