Understanding contraceptive methods is an important life skill every adolescent must learn. In this crucial life period, parents play a critical role in easing the topic of sexual and reproductive health. It will help ensure they make safe and healthy decisions and prepare them for adulthood. To make the conversation effective, parents must be well-informed about different contraceptive options—especially long-term ones.
Let’s talk about long-term reversible contraceptives and where you can go in Purchase, NY, to get them.
Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives
Long-acting reversible contraceptives or LARCs are a type of contraceptive method that provides long-term birth control with minimal maintenance. Thus, adolescents won’t need to remember to do or take anything daily or monthly to stay protected from unintended and unwanted pregnancy.
This type of birth control needs a doctor’s prescription as the procedure generally involves surgical insertion. Furthermore, you can visit your doctor for its removal once you decide you no longer want to use it. Unlike other hormonal methods, fertility returns promptly after the removal of LARCs. However, note that they don’t prevent sexually transmitted infections as they don’t provide barrier protection.
With that, the common options for long-acting reversible contraceptives are:
An intrauterine device or IUD is a tiny, T-shaped device inserted in the uterus through the cervix by a healthcare provider. IUDs are usually made of flexible plastic or copper material. How IUD works as birth control and the duration of its effectiveness depends on the type of IUD you’re using.
The two main types of IUDs are:
- Hormonal IUD: It releases a small amount of progestin hormone into the body over several years. Progestin is a form of synthetic progesterone or the female steroid sex hormone. How it works is it thickens the cervical mucus, blocking the sperm from entering the cervix. Hormonal IUDs must be replaced every 5 years. Mirena, Liletta, Kyleena, and Skyla are the four available brands of IUDs in the US.
- Copper IUD: Also known as ParaGard, a copper IUD is a non-hormonal IUD wrapped in copper. Copper causes sperm to steer away from where it’s placed, thus preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. Copper IUDs can last from 3 up to 10 years.
While copper IUD is effective immediately, hormonal IUD takes around 7 days to start working.
The insertion leaves two small strings dangling outside the cervix. The purpose of these strings is to check and ensure that the IUD stays in place. They are also used to pull the IUD out of the uterus during its removal by the healthcare provider.
Not all women experience the same side effects. Generally, the insertion may cause discomfort, pain, and cramping that may last a few days. These can be eased through over-the-counter pain relievers.
A birth control implant, also called Nexplanon, is a type of hormonal contraceptive providing long-term pregnancy protection. It is a thin, flexible rod-shaped plastic containing the hormone etonogestrel, a synthetic progestin. The implant works to prevent pregnancy by preventing the ovary from releasing an egg.
The implant is placed under the skin of a woman’s upper arm. It lasts up to 3 years and can be removed at any time.
As we know, birth control pills are the most commonly used type of contraception by teens and adults alike. While considered a short-acting hormonal method, the Pill can provide long-term pregnancy protection as long as you take it consistently and regularly.
The Pill contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. It controls pituitary hormone secretion and the release of the egg from the ovary, which prevents pregnancy. It also works to regulate menstruation, treat endometriosis, and lower ovarian and uterine cancer risks.
Birth control pills come in a dosing packet, usually containing 21 to 90 pills per pack. It is taken orally once a day at the same time each day without fail. What this means is you could risk the chance of pregnancy if you forget to take it for even one day. This tedious process is one of the reasons why the Pill isn’t categorized under LARCs.
The two types of birth control pills are:
- Combination pills (estrogen and progestin)
- Minipill (progestin-only)
A healthcare provider can discuss your teen’s best option for birth control pills.
Adolescent Contraception Near Me in Purchase, NY
Whether your teen is sexually active or not, you must make sure they know their options for birth control. At BridgeSpan Medicine in Purchase, NY, we have five board-certified pediatricians specializing in adolescent sexual wellness. We offer a non-judgmental and fully confidential space where adolescents can discuss the right contraceptive method for them.
If you wish to learn more about our adolescent sexual wellness services, you may call our clinic at (914) 698-5544. You also schedule and request an appointment online with one of our providers at your convenience. We look forward to having you!