The Benefits and Risks of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives for Teens.

 The Benefits and Risks of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives for Teens.


Teenagers are faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to engage in sexual activity. Those who choose to do so must consider the possibility of unintended pregnancy. For this reason, they must have effective contraceptive methods. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are an increasingly popular option for teenagers. This article will explore the benefits and risks of LARCs for teens, using industry statistics, expert quotes, and relevant information to provide a thorough analysis.

What are LARCs?

Long-acting reversible contraceptives are birth control methods that are highly effective and require minimal maintenance. LARCs include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants. IUDs are small, T-shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus. There are two types of IUDs, hormonal and non-hormonal, that work by either releasing hormones or using copper to prevent pregnancy. Contraceptive implants are small, flexible rods that are inserted under the skin in the aof. These implants release hormones to prevent pregnancy.

Benefits of LARCs for Teens

Highly Effective: LARCs are one of the most effective contraceptive methods available, with a failure rate of less than 1%. This means that they are significantly more effective than other methods, such as the birth control pill, which has a failure rate of around 9%.

Convenience: Once inserted, LARCs require minimal maintenance and can provide protection against unintended pregnancy for several years. This is particularly beneficial for teenagers, who may have busy schedules and may not remember to take a pill at the same time every day.

Reversibility: LARCs are easily reversible, meaning that if a teenager decides that they want to become pregnant, the device can be removed, and fertility will return to normal.

Improved Menstrual Health: Hormonal IUDs and contraceptive implants can also help regulate and lighten periods, which can be beneficial for some teenagers.

Decreased Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy: LARCs are associated with a lower risk of ectopic pregnancy, a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus.

Expert Opinion

Dr. Lauren Streicher, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, says, "The IUD and implant are the two most effective methods of contraception, and they're long-acting, so you don't have to remember to take them. They're safe, they're effective, and they're easily reversible.

Risks of LARCs for Teens


LARCs can be expensive, with initial costs ranging from $500 to $1000. While some insurance plans may cover the cost, not all do. This cost can be a significant barrier for teenagers and their families who may not have the financial resources to pay for the device.

Side Effects 

Like all medications, LARCs can cause side effects. Common side effects of hormonal IUDs and contraceptive implants include irregular bleeding, headaches, and mood changes. These side effects are usually mild and improve over time.

Insertion and Removal

The insertion and removal of LARCs can be uncomfortable or painful for some teenagers. However, these procedures are typically quick and can be managed with pain medication.

STI Protection 

LARCs do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Therefore, teenagers need to use condoms or other barrier methods to protect against STIs.

Expert Opinion

So what do experts think about LARCs for teens? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, LARCs are safe and effective for teens, and should be considered as a first-line contraceptive option. They note that LARCs have been shown to reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions, and can also have additional health benefits, such as reducing the risk of certain cancers.

Dr. Elizabeth Alderman, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, says, "It's important to understand that there are risks and benefits to all methods of contraception.


LARCs are an excellent option for teenage girls who are looking for long-term protection against unwanted pregnancy. They are highly effective, and convenient, and can help reduce menstrual symptoms. However, teenagers and their parents need to consider the risks associated with LARCs before choosing this method of birth control. While the risks are relatively low, they should still be taken seriously. By weighing the benefits and risks of LARCs, teenagers can make an informed decision about the best form of birth control for their needs.

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