Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)

Information for Patients

Welcome to the LARC Service page. This page provides information about LARC for patients.

If you already have an appointment booked and need to cancel, please speak to your GP Practice.

So what is a LARC?

LARC is short for Long Acting Reversible Contraception which is used to prevent pregnancy. It includes long lasting birth control methods that can be reversed. Unlike other birth control methods, they don’t rely on you remembering to take them, but they do need to be administered by a healthcare professional.

Please remember that LARC will protect against pregnancy but it will not protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections). It is recommended that condoms are used to protect against STIs.

What forms of contraception do you offer?

Our service can administer:

  • Coil with hormones (IUS): This coil is a small t-shaped device which is inserted into the womb and can be left for 5 years.
  • Coil without hormones (IUD): This coil is a small device which is inserted into the womb which stops sperm from reaching the egg. Coils can be left for 5-10 years.
  • Contraceptive Implant: This is a flexible rod a couple of cm long that is fitted into your arm. This can be left for 4 years.

What can I expect at my appointment?

At your consultation, a healthcare professional will discuss the LARC options available to you based on your preferences and medical history. This is a safe space for you to talk through your options before making a decision. You are welcome to ask any questions and talk through any concerns you might have, and at any point you can change your mind. Once you have decided which LARC you want, you may be offered the chance to have it fitted now, or you may need to book a follow-up appointment. The healthcare professional will provide you with information about the LARC of choice, including benefits and disadvantages and risks.

Once your LARC is fitted, you will be advised of when you will need to return for a replacement, for some this may not be for 5-10 years. The healthcare professional will also advise you of what to do should you wish to have your LARC removed sooner, or if you have any concerns.

Opening Times and Locations

The LARC service is offered in-house at two GP Practices in Lewisham:

  • Wednesdays, 4pm-8pm – Baring Road Medical Centre: 282 Baring Road SE12 0DS
  • Saturdays, 9am-12pm, Downham Family Medical Practice: 7-9 Moorside Rd BR1 5EP

Please speak to your GP practice to book an appointment.

Addressing Pressure to accept LARC and Barriers to Accessing LARC

We recognise that there are particular challenges for Black and Asian women around accessing LARC and a pressure to accept LARC, and this means they may be less likely to access LARC services. We also recognise the barriers to access for non-binary and transgender people.

We want to reassure all our patients that in response to the concerns raised in our community and in reports, that we will:

  • Provide a safe and welcoming environment where you can openly discuss your concerns without fear of judgment.
  • Ensure you have access to verbal and written information about all forms of contraception including LARC.
  • Ensure you have a full understanding of the advantages and disadvantages from the full range of birth control methods, as well as LARC.
  • Strive to be flexible, with times of appointments and locations to continually improve access to our services.
  • Continuously improve our services by seeking feedback from patients, ensuring that we address any concerns or suggestions promptly and effectively.
  • Use your preferred pronouns.
  • Maintain strict confidentiality in line with our own and NHS confidentiality policies.

We will not:

  • Force, coerce or pressurise you to accept LARC.
  • Ignore your treatment preferences.
  • Make judgements about you or your choices.

Our goal is to foster an atmosphere of trust and open communication, where you feel comfortable asking questions and seeking clarification about LARC and, above all, our aim is to prioritize your well-being and work collaboratively with you to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

What about if I have a question, concern or complaint?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can email us or speak to your GP Practice.

You can make a complaint by contacting us via email or letter. Our email address is: [email protected]  

Members area