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Teen Use of Long-Term Contraception Rising, But Remains Low

April 8, 2015   ·   0 Comments


Teen Long-Term Contraception Use Up, Remains Low

U.S. government report says implants and IUDs are effective and safe options

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The use of long-acting, reversible forms of contraception remains low among sexually active teen girls, though that trend seems to be changing, according to a U.S. government report released Tuesday.

Among teens aged 15 to 19, the use of long-acting reversible contraception rose from less than 1 percent in 2005 to about 7 percent in 2013, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We encourage teens who aren’t sexually active to continue to wait, but for teens who are choosing to have sex, we want them to make an informed choice,” Ileana Arias, the CDC’s principal deputy director, said during a media briefing.

“We want them to think about the most effective types of birth control, and ask their doctor or family planning counselor about long-acting reversible contraception as well as about other options,” she said.

Long-acting reversible forms of birth control include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants. These forms of birth control are extremely effective, with less than 1 percent of users getting pregnant during the first year of use, according to the CDC.

The report was published online April 7 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Teen births continue to decline in the United States, even reaching an all-time low in 2013, according to the CDC. Nearly 90 percent of teens said they used birth control the last time they had sex.

Still, more than 273,000 babies were born to U.S. teens in 2013. And, the teen birth rate in the United States is up to seven times higher than some other developed countries, the CDC said.

Most teens choose condoms or birth control pills as their preferred method of contraception, according to the CDC. But, if not used consistently and correctly, these methods are less effective for preventing pregnancy than implants and IUDs, the experts said.

Implants and IUDs are the most effective type of reversible birth control because they don’t require taking a pill every day or putting on a condom consistently before sex. Depending on the type of implant or IUD, they can be used for three to 10 years and they’re safe, the CDC researchers added.

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