Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives

  • Blog post

    This piece was originally published by PMA2020.

    PMA2020 dissemination workshop participants

    L-R: Dr. Assefa Seme (Co-PI, PMA2020/Ethiopia), Dr. Linnea Zimmerman (Associate Director for Research, PMA2020), Dr. Ephrem Lemango (Director of Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Directorate of the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia), Dr. Solomon Shiferaw (PI, PMA2020/Ethiopia).

    Data from the fifth and most recent round of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) survey in Ethiopia show an increasing proportion of women, married, unmarried, and all, are using highly effective, long-acting forms of contraception, such as implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and to a lesser degree sterilization. Over the past three and a half years (since PMA2020’s first survey round in 2014), Ethiopia has made strides in improving family planning access and use among both married and unmarried women. More women are using contraception, they are using contraception at an earlier age, and they are increasingly choosing the most-effective long-acting methods.

  • Blog post
    Health workers in Nigeria

    With a dearth of health care providers, CHEWs are critical to reaching women in mostly rural, hard-to-reach areas. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons by Direct Relief.

    This post was originally published by Advance Family Planning.

    On April 28, 2017, the Nigerian Minister of Health released an updated training curriculum for Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs) to include guidance on providing long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). The revision builds on Nigeria’s 2014 task-sharing policy that authorizes CHEWs to provide women with implants and intra-uterine devices, both LARC methods.

  • Blog post
    A newlywed college student in Jakarta, Indonesia, uses a mobile app for family planning to learn about contraceptive methods.

    A newlywed college student in Jakarta, Indonesia, uses a mobile app for family planning to learn about contraceptive methods that may help delay her first pregnancy until she finishes her degree and secures employment. © 2016 Radha Rajan, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Youth and contraception: two words that when used in combination excite visceral responses throughout the world. The response is even more fraught when we consider long-acting, reversible contraceptives (LARCs) for youth. Both intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants are LARCs, and the challenges for young women who wish to use them—lack of access, myths and misconceptions, provider bias, and community stigma—are pervasive. We have to understand more about these challenges in order to overcome them.

  • Blog post
    A health worker inserts an implant into a client's arm in Ethiopia. © 2009 Mengistu Asnake, Courtesy of Photoshare

    A health worker inserts an implant into a client's arm in Ethiopia. © 2009 Mengistu Asnake, Courtesy of Photoshare

    On July 14th, I attended the “Expanding Access to LARCs and Permanent Methods through Task Sharing” event in Washington, DC. Hosted by Population Services International (PSI) through the SIFPO2 Project, the full-day meeting featured a wide range of experts discussing challenges and solutions related to task sharing for implants, IUDs, female sterilization, and vasectomy.

  • Blog post

    This post originally appeared on the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative blog.

    Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kenya receive family planning training before being sent into the communities where they work. © 2012 John Kihoro/Tupange (Jhpiego Kenya), Courtesy of Photoshare

    Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kenya receive family planning training before being sent into the communities where they work. © 2012 John Kihoro/Tupange (Jhpiego Kenya), Courtesy of Photoshare

    On July 14, I attended the Washington, DC, SIFPO2 Project event “Expanding Access to LARCs and Permanent Methods through Task Sharing.” While HC3 does work to increase youth access to long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs), and task sharing is something certainly on our collective radar as a promising practice in family planning (FP), HC3 hasn’t yet worked specifically on FP task sharing. I took with me to the event, therefore, one open-ended question: What role can social and behavior change communication (SBCC) play in task sharing for better FP outcomes?

  • Blog post

    This post originally appeared on Global Daily.

    This week, the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) movement will turn four. With only four years left to accomplish its ambitious goal of reaching an additional 120 million with access to lifesaving contraceptives, this is a pivotal moment to appreciate progress and acknowledge the challenges that line the path to 2020.

  • Blog post
    In addition to being one of the most effective forms of contraception available, the LNG-IUS has important non-contraceptive benefits.

    In addition to being one of the most effective forms of contraception available, the LNG-IUS has important non-contraceptive benefits. Photo courtesy of FHI 360.

    Over the past several months, K4Health has been shining a spotlight on LARCs, which stands for long-acting reversible contraceptives. While LARCs offer multiple advantages—they are highly effective, long-acting and cost-effective, and fertility returns quickly after removal—the term is actually a bit misleading. The acronym implies that a multitude of family planning methods fit within that broad category. But the truth is that that only two general types of methods meet the LARC definition: contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs).

  • Blog post
    A service provider removes inserted family planning option from a client after its expiration at centre Igboro health facility in Ilorin in Nigeria’s central state of Kwara. © 2012 Akintunde Akinleye/NURHI, Courtesy of Photoshare

    A service provider removes inserted family planning option from a client after its expiration at centre Igboro health facility in Ilorin in Nigeria’s central state of Kwara. © 2012 Akintunde Akinleye/NURHI, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Contraceptive implants are available to more women around the world than ever before, thanks in large part to the Implant Access Program (IAP), a collaboration among several donor agencies, governments, non-governmental agencies (NGOs), and the makers of the contraceptive implants Jadelle® (Bayer HealthCare AG) and Implanon®/Implanon NXT® (Merck/MSD) to lower the products’ unit price by 50% for the world’s poorest countries. Since the launch of the IAP in 2013, 25.2 million implants have been purchased under this price reduction. Corresponding increases in implant use reported in national surveys such as the Performance, Monitoring & Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) indicate that women are taking advantage of the new found accessibility of affordable implants. Prevalence of implant use among married women has increased by 39% and 44% in Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively, in the last two years, and implants are currently the most commonly used method in Burkina Faso.

  • Blog post
    During a village gathering to discuss family planning, a woman in a village near Shashemene, Ethiopia, proudly shows off her arm where Norplant is implanted. © 2005 Virginia Lamprecht, Courtesy of Photoshare

    During a village gathering to discuss family planning, a woman in a village near Shashemene, Ethiopia, proudly shows off her arm where Norplant is implanted. © 2005 Virginia Lamprecht, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods appeal to many women because they are highly effective, discreet, and forgettable—once in place, no regular action is required on the part of the user. Because of their long duration of effectiveness, they can also be more cost-effective for individuals, family planning programs, and donors compared with short-acting methods such as oral contraceptive pills or condoms.

  • Blog post

    This post originally appeared on the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) blog.

    HC3 LARCs video

    A short animated video features Maria, a health care provider at a community clinic.

    Most sexually active adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa are not using modern methods of contraception. While long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs) are highly effective, convenient and cost-effective, their uptake among young women is low.

Pages