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IUDs and Birth Control Implants: Resource Overview

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants are long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Over time, LARC methods are 20 times more effective than birth control pills, the patch, or the vaginal ring. ACOG’s LARC Program works to reduce unintended pregnancy in the US. Ob-gyns, physicians whose primary responsibility is women’s health, play a leading role in providing scientific information and access to contraceptive methods, including IUDs and implants for their patients.

Here are the key publications and resources for ob-gyns, other women’s health care providers, and patients from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other sources.

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Resources for Ob-Gyns and Women’s Health Care Providers
Resources for Women and Patients
External Organizations

Resources for Ob-Gyns and Women’s Health Care Providers

Program: Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

ACOG’s LARC Program works to reduce unintended pregnancy in the US by providing information and guidance on the most effective reversible contraceptive methods. This page provides a broad range of materials including clinical guidance, educational materials, and notices of upcoming LARC Program meetings and events.

Committee Opinion: Increasing Access to Contraceptive Implants and Intrauterine Devices to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy

“Increasing Access to Contraceptive Implants and Intrauterine Devices To Reduce Unintended Pregnancy,” issued by ACOG in October 2015, expands the 2009 recommendation that LARC be offered as first-line contraceptive methods.

Practice Bulletin: Long-Acting Reversible Contraception: Implants and Intrauterine Devices (members only)

“Long-Acting Reversible Contraception: Implants and Intrauterine Devices,” issued by ACOG in July 2011 (reaffirmed 2013), provides recommendations for the use of IUDs and contraceptive implants, the most effective reversible contraceptives. This evidence-based guideline provides information for appropriate candidate selection and the management of clinical issues and complications associated with LARC methods.

Committee Opinion: Adolescents and Long-Acting Reversible Contraception: Implants and Intrauterine Devices

“Adolescents and Long-Acting Reversible Contraception: Implants and Intrauterine Devices,” issued by ACOG in October 2012, recommends the use of IUDs and the contraceptive implant as first-line contraceptive options for sexually active adolescents.

 


Resources for Women and Patients

Patient FAQ: Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC): IUD and Implant

“Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC): IUD and Implant,” issued by ACOG in May 2014, explains that LARC methods—the IUD and the implant—are highly effective in preventing pregnancy, last for several years, and are easy to use. Both methods are reversible, so a woman who wants to become pregnant or wants to stop using them can have them removed at any time.

Patient FAQ: Birth Control—Especially for Teens

“Birth Control—Especially for Teens,” issued by ACOG in December 2013, provides adolescents with key information needed in choosing the right birth control. Things to consider include how well each contraceptive method prevents pregnancy, how easy it is to use, whether you need a prescription to get it, whether it protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and whether you have any health problems.

 


External Organizations

The The Contraceptive CHOICE Project, operated by the Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis, is based on a study that reduced unintended pregnancy by encouraging the use of LARC methods. It includes helpful animated patient education videos that explain risks and benefits of LARC methods. LARC First, an online resource center developed by the Choice Project, includes six modules to help ob-gyns develop a “LARC First” practice. 

The UCSF Bixby Center LARC Project is dedicated to improving access to LARC methods. Results of its large national study at 40 Planned Parenthood sites are presented. 

IUD TaskForce, established in 2013 by more than 25 New York City-based organizations, seeks to address the systemic barriers (financial, institutional, legal, and educational) that limit knowledge, awareness, access, and use of LARCs, specifically IUDs and implants.

 


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 57,000 members, ACOG strongly advocates for quality women’s health care, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care.

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998