Benefits of long-acting contraceptives being ignored

Part of the problem is a misconception about safety and a failure by doctors to keep up to date with the latest thinking, according to an article in the latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia.

Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are recognised internationally as the most effective way to prevent pregnancies, it said. 

They include progestogen-only under-skin implants, intrauterine contraceptions (IUCs) and three-monthly progestogen injections.

In one study, LARCs were found to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy 20-fold compared with women using the pill, patch or vaginal ring, said the article by the University of Sydney's Dr Kirsten Black and colleagues.

"In general, Australian women have little awareness of the benefits of LARCs,” Dr Black said.

"Misperceptions about IUC methods focus on the risks of infection and infertility based on the memory of older devices. Modern IUC methods are not