By Cassie Shortsleeve,  FEB 24, 2021

It’s important to keep your family-planning timeline in mind when choosing a form of birth control. Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) such as an IUD—either a hormonal one or a copper device—can provide worry-free contraception for years at a time, making it an ideal option if you don’t see kids in the near future, explains Kecia Gaither, M.D., M.P.H., an ob-gyn, and maternal-fetal medicine doctor at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. On the other hand, if you see yourself with a baby on the way semi-soon, think twice before going with a “longer-term” method like an IUD or a BC shot. In some cases, the shot has been linked with a 5- to 7-month delayed return to fertility after you stop using it. Things like the patch, ring, or the pill would likely be better options, Dr. Gaither notes.

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