Birth Control You Get and Forget!
Pregnancy prevention is a priority for many couples, but selecting a method that is effective AND easy to manage is sometimes harder than they anticipate. Contraceptive pills are very effective, but only if taken correctly- and that means taking the pill every single day, at about the same time every day. Busy teenagers and adults sometimes find their schedules unpredictable and sometimes don’t remember to take their pill, or take it at a very different time than normal. Unfortunately, this can lead to an unplanned pregnancy, which can also lead to poor birth outcomes and even death of the baby. “The danger in misusing birth control pills is that women often think they are protected simply because they have taken the pill even though they really are not. Skipping pills, or taking them irregularly, basically means that a woman is not protected against pregnancy at all. But since in her mind she thinks she is protected, the risk of an unplanned pregnancy dramatically increases”, says Mary Perez, Montgomery County Health Director.
In Montgomery County, the infant mortality rate is almost twice that of the state, and one reason could be unintentional pregnancies. In order to combat this issue, the Montgomery County Health Department is launching a new campaign to encourage women to consider LARC- Long Acting Reversible Contraception. These methods don’t require daily action or attention – it is literally birth control a woman can get and forget! LARC refers mainly to intrauterine devices (IUDs) such as Mirena or Paragard and implants such as Nexplanon. These methods are greater than 99% effective at preventing pregnancies, which is just as effective as permanent sterilization (such as having your tubes tied). However, LARCs are completely reversible- meaning that a woman can decide to remove her LARC when the time is right for her family and fertility will resume almost immediately. LARCs are safe for most women and teenagers, even those who have never had a baby. These methods do not prevent transmission of sexual diseases and infections, so the use of latex condoms is still encouraged.
For more information on LARC or other types of birth control, please contact Lisa Poindexter at the Montgomery County Health Department by calling (910) 572-1393 x266.