There are many contraceptive options for people and partners who are looking to prevent pregnancy when having sexually active relationships. Long-term, reversible contraceptives (LARC) may be the right option for people and partners who do not plan a pregnancy in the near future.
Is long acting reversible contraception (LARC) right for you?
Whether you’re sexually active now or plan to be soon, you may be thinking about what type of birth control fits your needs. If you aren’t planning to get pregnant any time soon, one option you may want to consider is a long acting reversible contraception device. These are called LARCs, and they are available at no cost if you have a Student Health Insurance Plan (Aetna).
What is a LARC?
A long acting reversible contraception (LARC) device – like an intrauterine device (IUD) or an implant – are highly effective, well tolerated, and easy to use.
How are IUDs and implants different?
The two biggest differences are the location they get placed and how long they last. Both types of LARCs are completely reversible and can be taken out when you’re ready to for a change.
IUDs are effective for between 3 to 12 years, depending on if your IUD is progesterone (3-7 years) or copper (12 years). Both are small T-shaped pieces that get put into your uterus. Learn more about IUD types, how it works, side effects, non-contraceptive benefits, and comparison to other methods.
An implant (also known by the brand Nexplanon) is a tiny rod that gets inserted under the skin of your upper arm. They are effective for up to 4 years and are super discreet. Learn more about how implants work, side effects, and comparison to other contraceptive methods.
How can I schedule a LARC appointment?
First, check with USC Student Health to make sure you have the Student Health Insurance Plan (Aetna). If you do not have Aetna, you can still schedule an IUD visit with Planned Parenthood’s Family Planning Only Services program.
Ready to go with your Student Health Insurance Plan? Follow these steps!
- Go to usc.edu/myshr
- Navigate to “Appointments > Schedule an Appointment.”
- Navigate to ““Medical > Sexual and Reproductive Health > Female Sexual Health Visit >Contraception.”
- Choose “I want to inquire about Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC).”
- You will get an auto reply with additional information regarding next steps.
- The staff will confirm your insurance eligibility and a LARC insertion appointment will be made for you.
- The nursing staff will communicate with you through secure messages. Be sure to ask them any questions or concerns that are on your mind. They are here to help! A consult appointment can also be made if your questions require more than secure messaging, but this isn’t required for your insertion appointment.
How much does a LARC cost?
If you have the Student Health Insurance Plan (Aetna), your LARC and insertion is covered! There is no additional cost to you. If you have a different insurance plan, please contact your private insurance and ask about LARC services and coverage through their network. USC Student Health can only schedule LARC appointments for covered students.
You can also schedule a visit with Planned Parenthood for an IUD placement through their Family Planning Only Services program: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/get-care/our-services/birth-control
Do LARCs prevent against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
Although LARC devices are a great way to prevent pregnancy, they do not protect against STIs. Condom use is still recommended. You can learn more about STI prevention and sexual health facts by exploring Bedsider’s “Sexual Health and Wellness” section.
***Curious about what else is out there? Check out Bedsider, a free website with tons of resources from contraception to sexual health information.