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What is Long-Term Birth Control?

Long-term birth control, or long-acting reversible contraception, includes several easy-to-use methods that are extremely effective in preventing pregnancy. Since these are reversible methods, they can be a good solution for women who want to become pregnant in the future.

There are two types of long-term birth control that your provider may recommend:

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

An intrauterine device (more commonly known as an IUD) is a T-shaped plastic device that is placed inside your uterus to prevent sperm from fertilizing eggs. There are two types of IUDs available:

  • Hormonal IUD—releases progestin into the uterus and is approved for 3-8 years of use.
  • Copper IUD—releases copper into the uterus and is approved for up to 10 years of use.

Your women’s healthcare provider can insert your IUD in our office. This is a quick procedure done using a speculum to guide the device through the vagina and cervix, into the uterus. You may feel some cramping after the IUD is inserted, but discomfort is temporary.

The Implant

The birth control implant is a small plastic rod that we insert just under the skin of your upper arm. The implant will release progestin into the body, which stops the release of an egg during ovulation. It can also thicken the mucus of the cervix, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg.

Your provider can insert the implant in the office, and it only takes a few minutes to do so. You may feel a slight pinch, but the implant won’t be visible in your arm. Once inserted, it can prevent pregnancy immediately for up to three years.

Is Long-Term Birth Control Right for Me?

When it comes to birth control, every woman has her own needs. Your provider is here to listen to and answer any questions you have about getting an IUD or the implant.

While long-term birth control methods are effective in preventing pregnancy for years at a time, they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We recommend the use of barrier methods, such as condoms, to protect you from STIs.

It’s also a good idea to discuss pregnancy and your family goals with your provider. When you are ready to have children, we can remove the IUD or implant so you can become pregnant.

Ask Your Provider About Long-Term Birth Control

IUDs and implants help women take control of their life and family goals by temporarily preventing pregnancy. If you feel as though long-term birth control is the right method for you, you can make an appointment to talk with your Premier Women’s Health of Minnesota provider today.