Long acting reversible contraception
The lifetime risk of dying due to pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa is 1 in 22. Many of these pregnancies are unintended. Long acting reversible contraception (LARC) has great potential in reducing these pregnancies as they are highly effective and do not rely a great deal on compliance and correct use. They have better continuation rates than short term hormonal contraception and as per definition require administration less than once per cycle or month. Despite these obvious advantages they remain largely underutilized even in developed countries even though being more cost effective. Lack of knowledge and myths amongst women and health professional remain a barrier to their use especially in adolescents at risk for unintended pregnancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use provides guidance to health professionals in selecting the appropriate contraception for women. The LARC methods include copper intrauterine devices (Cu - IUDs), levonorgestrel- intrauterine systems (LNG-IUS), progestogen-only injectable contraceptives (POIC), progestogen-only subdermal implants and combined vaginal rings.
Key words: Long acting reversible contraception