More than one third of young people ages 15 to 19 are sexually active, yet most teens are not using, and may not even know about, these birth control methods, according to statistics from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) issued a paper Thursday evening containing new guidelines to offer IUDs and implants as first-line birth control options for teens.
he paper explains that over 80 percent of teen pregnancies are unintended, and although most teens report having used some form of birth control, they are usually put on short-acting methods, like the birth control pill, patch, ring or shot. All of these short-acting methods have higher failure rates than long-acting methods, often due to incorrect use. Teens are also likely to stop using the short-acting methods.
“This recommendation is timely and essential,” says Dr. Ellen Rome, head of the Center for Adolescent Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. “Long-acting reversible contraceptive methods are twice as effective as shorter acting contraceptive methods at reducing teen pregnancy and could make a significant impact in preventing the 750,000 teen pregnancies occurring annually in the United States alone.”