Is long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC) right for you?
Whether you’re heading off to college, the military, or joining the workforce, you’re making big decisions that will set the course for the rest of your life.
You may also be thinking about if or when you want to start a family. Knowing all of your options for birth control can help you make informed decisions about this part of your future.
While most people know about condoms and birth control pills, long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC) methods like hormone implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs) are safe and the most effective. With LARC methods, you don’t have to think about it – it’s always working. In fact, depending on the method you choose, it will work for up to three to 10 years.
Video produced 2016
The choice about if or when to get pregnant is yours!
Half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. In 2019, Arkansas teenagers ages 15-19 recorded 32.4 births per 1,000 births, compared to the national average of 30.3 births per 1,000. Though there has been improvement, Arkansas continues to have a high teen birth rate.
While having a child and getting a degree at the same time is possible, it’s difficult: a study published in 2018 found that more than half of undergraduates with children drop out of school.
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education and AFMC, along with other state agencies, are working together to help Arkansas colleges and universities address unintended pregnancies on campus.
You have your whole life ahead of you, so be smart about your choices. If you choose to be sexually active, find out how you can prevent an unplanned pregnancy and make sure to always use a condom to protect from HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and Zika.
To find out more, use the resources on this page or talk to your doctor or campus health clinic.
Reviewed and revised September 2021