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© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) are now recommended for use among nulliparous young women to prevent unintended pregnancy. While research has explored LARC knowledge, attitudes, and use among young women in the United States, college women’s feelings about LARC have received limited attention. This article reports findings from a focus group study conducted with a convenience sample of 45 women, ages 18–25 years, enrolled in a large public university in the southeastern USA in April 2017. Focus groups combined LARC users and non-users and elicited a range of positive and negative affective responses to LARC. Some participants had an aversion to LARC because they perceived them to be unnatural, while others felt a sense of security because of their long-term effectiveness. Feelings about the location and mode of insertion for the intrauterine device (IUD) versus the implant played a significant role in the decision to use a specific LARC method: some found being able to feel the implant in their arm reassuring, while others found it disturbing and preferred the IUD. College-going LARC users also appear to be effective advocates for LARC use among their peers.

Original publication




Journal article


Women and Health

Publication Date





719 - 733