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Women Veterans Have Family Planning Options

Young woman patient with a gynecologist in the office

For women Veterans who are not ready to begin a family, there are plenty of birth control options. However, not all birth control methods are made equal. Among the most recommended birth control methods are long-acting reversible contraceptives or LARCs.

LARC methods include the intrauterine device (IUD), the hormone injection, and the implant. These methods last for an extended period, up to several years. If pregnancy is desired, the LARC methods may be stopped at any time. When it comes to preventing pregnancy, LARCs are over 99 percent effective.

Are LARCs a good choice for you?

There is no "best" method of birth control for every woman. The birth control method that is right for you and your partner depends on many things, and may change over time. LARCs have many benefits:

  • Get it and forget it. Once it is in place, you do not have to do anything else to prevent pregnancy.

  • Very effective. LARCs are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Over the long term, LARCs are 20 times more effective than birth control pills, the patch, or the ring.

  • No hassle. There are no prescriptions to pick up at the pharmacy.

  • Nearly invisible. It does not interfere with sex or daily activities.

  • Total privacy. No one can tell when you are using birth control.

  • 100 percent Reversible. If you want to get pregnant, simply remove the LARC.

Things to consider when choosing a birth control method

When choosing a birth control method, it is important to discuss with your provider when and if you want to have children in the future. You should also talk about which method is safe considering your current health, how effective each method is at preventing pregnancy, and whether a method makes sense for your lifestyle.

Talk to your VA provider about contraception care
  • VA offers contraception care. Speak to your provider about which methods are best suited for you.

  • VA medical centers have a Women Veterans Program Manager to help women Veterans access VA benefits and health care services.

    To find the VA medical center or Vet Center nearest you, call 1-877-222-8387 or visit

  • Don't forget the My HealtheVet's Secure Messaging feature lets you communicate directly with your health care team securely.

  • Women Veterans can call 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636) to ask questions about available VA services and resources.

  • Learn about available birth control methods.

Read More

Women Veterans Health Care (VA)

Birth Control Chart (FDA)

How Effective are Birth Control Methods (CDC)

Updated July 16, 2018