In the next few days, hundreds of family planning (FP) professionals will be making their way to Bali, Indonesia to attend the International Conference on Family Planning. Many will be presenting, discussing and debating the issue of providing young people with a variety of contraceptive options.
One of those options, and one which is gaining more and more traction, is long-acting reversible contraception, or LARCs.
With young people (whom the World Bank defines as between ages 10-24) currently comprising a larger proportion of the world’s population than ever before — including in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) — unplanned or unwanted pregnancy among this group is a worldwide public health issue. For unplanned pregnancies among younger women, unsafe options may become the recourse. Many effective FP methods —especially LARC methods, like implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs) — are scarcely accessed by or considered acceptable options for youth, especially for those who are unmarried.
LARC methods, in fact, have pregnancy rates of less than one percent per year, and high rates of patient satisfaction and continuation.
So LARCs are now becoming a method of choice for young people. As demand grows for LARCs, the need for social and behavior change communication (SBCC) follows Youth and service providers alike need to be open to discussion about the use of LARCs, address misinformation, tackle the issue of dual protection, and create an open and welcoming environment so that there can be thorough client-provider communication to support youth’s education and voluntary uptake of LARCs.
The Health COMpass offers its latest Trending Topic with some of the latest tools and project materials intended to increase use of LARCs among youth.
If you are attending the IFCP Conference, be sure to visit HC3 at Booth #60 for more information on LARCs and other family planning materials related to the social and behavior change communication.