Long-term contraception refers to a contraceptive method that provides protection against pregnancy for an extended period of time.
Unlike the birth control pill, which needs to be taken at the same time every day, or a condom, which needs to be used properly during every sexual encounter, long-term contraception is designed to last for years, with little maintenance beyond implantation and some follow-up appointments as appropriate.
Long-term birth control should not be confused with permanent birth control choices like tubal ligation (“getting your tubes tied”).
Your choice of contraception is personal and entirely up to you, though your PGOMG provider may offer a recommendation if he or she thinks one form or another better suits your lifestyle. It’s important to discuss your birth control needs honestly and openly with your gynecologist so he or she can recommend a method that works best for your routine and family planning goals.
Long-term contraception isn’t for everyone, just as the birth control pill might not be the best choice for some women. PGOMG has highlighted some cases below where long-term contraceptive options like an IUD or Nexplanon may be best.
- You’ve had a bad reaction to condoms or the birth control pill – Some women are allergic to certain types of condoms and some women have negative reactions to the birth control pill. In most cases, pill dosage or prescription can be altered to address this issue, but some women simply cannot tolerate their reaction and prefer to use a different method of pregnancy prevention.
- Family building is three to five years in the future – For those who are certain that they do not wish to try for a pregnancy in the next three to five years, long-term contraception is an excellent option for safe, effective birth control. Long-term contraception is low maintenance and typically only requires one visit to your provider to insert or implant your chosen method.
- You prefer to keep your options open – Long-term contraception allows women the option of reliable birth control that they do not have to remember to take on a daily basis or is not impacted by human error, such as a forgotten pill or a broken condom. However, it is not permanent: an IUD or implant like Nexplanon can be removed by your provider upon request.
Please note that contraceptive options like the birth control pill, IUDs or Nexplanon do not prevent STD transmission. Only a properly-used condom can keep you safe from an STD.
It’s important to remember that birth control doesn’t have to be permanent until you want to try for a pregnancy. You are fully within your rights as a patient to discuss switching your birth control for another option, especially if you are experiencing a negative side effect. If you are interested in long-term contraception or if you’d like to switch your birth control, please contact PGOMG today.