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What is LARC?

LARC stands for long-acting reversible contraception. It is a term for highly effective and easy-to-use forms of birth control that can last for years at a time. LARC includes the intrauterine device (IUD) and the contraceptive implant.

IUD graphic


Contraceptive Implant graphic

Contraceptive Implant

  • LARCs are recommended as the best birth control method for most women, including teens, by doctors’ groups including pediatricians, obstetricians/gynecologists, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • LARCs are better than pills, patches, and other contraceptives in preventing pregnancy, because the LARC remains in place all the time. 1
  • When young women are offered all birth control methods without barriers like cost or clinic access, nearly two-thirds choose LARC over other contraceptives. 2
  • A LARC device can prevent pregnancy for 3 to 12 years after just one visit to the doctor.

1 Winner, B. et al. Effectiveness of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. New England Journal of Medicine, 2012. 366: p. 1998-2007.

2 Mestad, R., et al., Acceptance of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods by adolescent participants in the Contraceptive CHOICE Project. Contraception, 2011. 84(5): p. 493-8.

Illustrations by Justyn Iannucci.