Long-acting reversible contraceptives: intrauterine devices and the contraceptive implant

Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Mar;117(3):705-19. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31820ce2f0.

Abstract

The provision of effective contraception is fundamental to the practice of women's health care. The most effective methods of reversible contraception are the so-called long-acting reversible contraceptives, intrauterine devices and implants. These methods have multiple advantages over other reversible methods. Most importantly, once in place, they do not require maintenance and their duration of action is long, ranging from 3 to 10 years. Despite the advantages of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods, they are infrequently used in the United States. Short-acting methods, specifically oral contraceptives and condoms, are by far the most commonly used reversible methods. A shift from the use of short-acting methods to long-acting reversible contraceptive methods could help reduce the high rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States. In this review of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods, we discuss the intrauterine devices and the contraceptive implant available in the United States, and we describe candidates for each method, noncontraceptive benefits, and management of complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraception*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Desogestrel / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Implants
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices*

Substances

  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Drug Implants
  • etonogestrel
  • Desogestrel