Women's awareness of long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs) in community family planning clinics and general practice

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2008 Dec;13(4):396-9. doi: 10.1080/13625180802255693.


Objectives: To investigate whether awareness and choice of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) of women attending a community family planning clinic differ from those of women seeing general practitioners (GPs).

Methods: Information was collected from women in their reproductive years about their current contraceptive method, their awareness of LARCs and whether they felt well informed about their options. After additional information was provided the respondents were asked whether they would consider changing their method and if their GP offered this option.

Results: Questionnaires were completed by 177 women attending a city-centre contraception and sexual health (CASH) clinic (n = 96) and a GP's surgery in a neighbouring city (n = 81). Forty percent of women in the CASH cohort and 6% in the primary care group were using LARCs. Women attending the CASH service were more aware of their contraceptive options and felt better informed but less than 50% in either group had heard of the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system. At least 50% of women would consider using a LARC yet few knew if their GP fitted/provided these methods.

Conclusion: LARC usage was considerably higher in CASH services compared to primary care. Those providing contraceptive care should give up-to-date information covering all methods and referral to local specialist services, as appropriate.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities*
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage
  • Contraceptive Devices, Female / statistics & numerical data
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Employment
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Marital Status


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Delayed-Action Preparations