Long Term Methods

Longterm methods are very effective. They offer convenience, privacy and do not impact sex play or lifestyle.

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Implant

What is it? A soft rod 1½ inches long that is placed under the skin in your upper arm and slowly releases hormone into your body.

Use: Lasts 3 years

Health Impacts: Irregular, light bleeding is common. Rare side effects include allergy or infection of the skin when inserted, weight gain or mood changes. Rarely, minor surgery is needed for removal.

Note: The implant prevents pregnancy for 3 years. It is your right to have it taken out at any time. Effectiveness has not been tested on heavier women.

Access: Clinic visit needed every 3 years.

Effectiveness: 99.95%

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IUD Copper

What is it? Intra-Uterine Device shaped like a small plastic T wrapped in copper with a string attached. Inserted through the cervix into the uterus.

Use: Lasts 10 or more years.

How it works: Changes the cervical mucus, fallopian tubes and the lining of the uterus. It stops or slows the sperm and egg.

Health Impacts: Usually causes more painful, heavier periods. Should not be used by women who are allergic to copper. You can check that it hasn’t come out by feeling for the string at your cervix.

Note: Although insertion can cause a few minutes of pain, removal is usually fast and easy.

Access: Clinic visit needed for insertion and removal. It is your right to have it removed at any time.

Effectiveness: 99.2%-99.4%

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IUD Progesterone

What is it? Intra-Uterine Device shaped like a small plastic T with a string. It is Inserted through the cervix into the uterus where it releases synthetic progestin hormone.

Use: Lasts 5 years

How it works: Changes the cervical mucus, fallopian tubes and the lining of the uterus. It stops or slows the sperm and egg.

Health Impacts: Usually decreases cramping, but sometimes causes cramps. You can check that it hasn’t come out by feeling for the string at your cervix.

Note: Although insertion can cause a few minutes of pain, removal is usually fast and easy.

Access: Clinic visit needed for insertion and removal. It is your right to have it removed at any time.

Effectiveness: 99.8%

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Sterilization

What is it? For Females, the fallopian tubes are blocked or cut, either through a small incision or by injecting a substance into the tubes. For the non-surgical options, a follow up test is important to be sure it was successful.

For Males, a vasectomy closes or cuts the vas deferens or tubes inside scrotum to prevent sperm from being released. The man’s erection and ejaculation stay the same but semen contains no sperm. A sperm count about 30 days after the procedure is important to be sure all the sperm have cleared.

Once. Permanent. Not reversible

Health Impacts: Excellent choice if you don’t want to reproduce or are finished having children. Does not protect against HIV/STI.

Note: Young adults with no children may have difficulty finding a doctor to perform sterilization.

Access: Hospital or clinic.

Effectiveness: 99.5-99.9%