Is This the Best Contraception Method For Your Teen?

by Yumhee Park Content Producer

More than 70 percent of teenagers have had sex by the time they reach their 19th birthday. And long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) techniques are considered good contraception options to be discussed with your teen. LARC methods are extremely effective at preventing pregnancy and also the most convenient for your teen who might be busy or forgetful to keep track of pills every day.

LARC methods

Two LARC methods include the intrauterine device, more commonly known as the IUD, and the birth control implant. Both methods are very effective at preventing pregnancy, last for a long time, and are simple to use. Both the IUD and birth control implant must be inserted by a health care provider.


The IUD is a small, T-shaped, plastic device that is inserted in the uterus. Two types of IUDs are available – the hormonal IUD and the copper IUD. The hormonal IUD releases progestin and some forms of this IUD are approved for use up to five years. The copper IUD has no hormones and is approved for use up to 10 years. There are many brands and factors to consider before choosing the right IUD.

The birth control implant

The birth control implant is a small flexible rod that is inserted under the skin in the upper arm. It works by releasing progestin and can prevent pregnancy for up to three years.

The benefits of LARCs

LARCs have been proven to be the most effective method of contraception. While there is a 9 percent failure rate for pills and an 18 percent failure rate for male condoms, the IUD and birth control implant failure rates are 1percent and .05 percent respectively. Plus, LARCs are long-lasting, do not need to be a part of your daily routine, are reversible should women want to get pregnant and more.

Why LARCs for teens?

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have stated that LARCs should be an encouraged form of contraception due to their efficacy and ease of use. Teens should know all the contraceptive options available to them, especially the most effective ones, to protect and promote their health.

Yumhee Park
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Yumhee Park

Yumhee Park is a former content producer for HealthCentral and helped bring important stories of health advocates to life as a member of the Live Bold, Live Now multimedia team.