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Cover of Long-acting Reversible Contraception

Long-acting Reversible Contraception

The Effective and Appropriate Use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 30


London: RCOG Press; .
ISBN-10: 1-904752-18-7


Contraception can be divided into two broad categories: hormonal and nonhormonal. There are two categories of hormonal contraception: combined oestrogen and progestogen and progestogen-only. Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is defined in this guideline as methods that require administering less than once per cycle or month.

Included in the category of LARC are the copper intrauterine devices (nonhormonal) and three progestogen-only methods of contraception (intrauterine system, injectables and the implants). The combined vaginal ring is not licensed in the UK and is therefore excluded from this guideline.

In 2003/04, about 8% of women aged 16–49 years in Great Britain used LARC as a method of contraception. [EL = 3]


Update 2013: The progestogen-only subdermal implant, Implanon, recommended in this guideline is no longer available. Implanon was replaced by Nexplanon. Nexplanon contains the same amount of the same drug as Implanon, but the summaries of product characteristics for the two devices are not identical. In the light of the change in the implant available, NICE will review the evidence and update the section of the guideline that makes recommendations on progestogen-only subdermal implants.

All recommendations that refer to Implanon should be accompanied by a footnote which states the following: “The progestogen-only subdermal implant (Implanon) recommended in this guideline is no longer available. Healthcare professionals considering offering the replacement device, Nexplanon, should refer to the summary of product characteristics.”

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this publication, the publisher can give no guarantee for information about drug dosage and application thereof contained in this book. In every individual case the respective user must check current indications and accuracy by consulting other pharmaceutical literature and following the guidelines laid down by the manufacturers of specific products and the relevant authorities in the country in which they are practising.

Copyright © 2005, National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher or, in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK []. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the terms stated here should be sent to the publisher at the UK address printed on this page.

The use of registered names, trademarks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant laws and regulations and therefore for general use.

Bookshelf ID: NBK51051PMID: 21656970


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