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Long-acting contraception

Long-acting contraception

What is long-acting contraception

  • Long-acting contraception is a term given to a group of contraceptive methods that prevent pregnancy for a long period of time (long-acting).


  • They only need to be used every 8 weeks to 10 years, depending on the type you choose.


  • They are the most effective contraception available and are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when used perfectly.


  • Long-acting contraceptives include the IUD, IUS, implant and contraceptive injection.

many different long-acting contraceptives

What are the different types of long-acting contraceptives?

There are many different long-acting contraceptives. Find out more about these long-acting methods below:

Explore long-acting methods


Intrauterine System (IUS)

The IUS, also called the hormonal Coil, is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestogen hormone for up to 3 - 8 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.

Find out more



The Copper Coil is a small, T-shaped plastic and copper frame that releases copper. It is available with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse, where it prevents pregnancy for up to 5 - 10 years.

Find out more


Contraceptive implant

A small, flexible, silicone rod that releases a progestogen hormone for up to 3 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.

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Contraceptive Injection

An injection containing a hormone that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse or self-administered every 8, 12 or 13 weeks.

Find out more

How effective are long-acting contraceptives?

Most long-acting methods are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy with both typical and perfect use. This means that less than 1 out of every 100 women on a long-acting method will become pregnant in one year. Typically, 9 out of every 100 women using the pill will become pregnant. They are the most effective reversible methods of contraception because they do not depend on you remembering to take or use them to be effective.


The contraceptive injection is the exception and is 94% effective with typical use and over 99% effective with perfect use. This is because there is room for human error when injecting it.

Why choose a long-acting contraceptive?

They're ideal if you know that you do not want to have children for a while. Once in place, you don’t need to think about these methods until they need replacing, and none of them interrupt sex. They are more reliable than short-acting methods as you don’t have to remember to take them each day, or use them each time you have sex.


Your contraception, your choice

Being able to control if and when you have children is a big part of maintaining your health. Learn about the contraceptive options available in the UK to help you find your perfect fit.


Learn more

PP-UN-WHC-GB-0148 January 2024


The health information on this site has been reviewed and approved by Bayer by an appropriately qualified medical reviewer. It is intended as general information only. It is not intended to replace a consultation with a healthcare professional, to provide specific medical advice or replace the patient information leaflet provided with your medicine. Treatments discussed here should be initiated under medical supervision. For full information including side effects and eligibility for treatment, please consult your healthcare professional. Always speak to your doctor or nurse for personal medical advice.


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