LARC vs SARC – Which is Better For You?

LARC vs SARC – Which is Better For You?

LARC vs SARC – Which is Better For You?

LARC’s (Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives) vs SARC (Short-Acting Reversible Contraceptives) is not generally a hot topic for discussion around a glass of wine on a Friday night at your BFF’s place. Actually, not many women are aware that there is a difference in the duration of efficacy for birth control – or what those different methods entail.


SARC – Short Acting Reversible Contraceptives

Short Acting Contraceptives are a category of contraception methods which are highly effective in protecting you against unplanned pregnancies.


To make them work best they have to be used in short time intervals from single use (e.g. the condom), daily intake (e.g. the pill) to up to 3 monthly application (e.g. injectable contraceptives). Methods of this contraceptive category require you to think about using or taking them regularly or each time you have sex. Moreover all of these methods can be used for many years in a row.

They are reversible, meaning that once you stop using them the contraceptive effect wears off quickly and women can become pregnant as rapidly as those ones who have used no contraceptive at all.


LARC – Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) includes intrauterine devices (IUDs) and the sub-dermal implant. These methods are the most effective reversible methods of contraception, and have the additional advantages of being long-lasting, convenient, well-liked by users and cost effective.


Compared with other user-dependent methods that increase the risk of noncompliance-related method failure, LARC methods can bring ‘typical use’ failure rates more in line with ‘perfect use’ failure rates. LARC methods are ‘forgettable’; they are not dependent on compliance with a pill-taking regimen, remembering to change a patch or ring, or coming back to the clinician for an injection. LARC method failure rates rival that of tubal sterilization at <1% for IUDs and the sub-dermal implant.


LARC vs SARC – Which Is Better?

New research provides strong scientific evidence that long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) benefits a wider population of potential users than previously thought. Women who tried long-acting methods (intrauterine devices and subdermal implants), despite their general preference for oral contraceptives or injections, found LARC highly satisfying.


Moreover, the study showed that the decision to try a long-acting contraceptive prevented unintended pregnancy far better than using a short-acting method. These two discoveries were only achieved because of improved scientific approaches. This major study is published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.


LARC techniques such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants under the skin are known to be more effective than short-acting reversible contraception (SARC) such as the contraceptive pill. Once inserted, long-acting devices provide at least three years of continuous pregnancy protection and are more than 99% effective because they are not subject to errors in use that may reduce the effectiveness of short-acting methods. Approximately 48% of unintended pregnancies occur in the month when contraception is used. Until now, the acceptability and success of LARC among women initially seeking a short-acting method had not been measured.


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Cover Image Credit: Mommyish