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New York, NY — Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report showing an increased use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods among teens. From 2005 to 2013, use of LARC methods among teens ages 15-19 seeking contraceptive services at Title X service sites increased from 0.4 percent to 7.1 percent.

The IUD and implant are great birth control options for most women, including teens who want the best possible pregnancy prevention because they aren’t yet ready to start a family,” said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president of external medical affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “IUDs and implants are safe for most women, including teens and women who have not yet had children, and IUDs and implants are especially good options for young women who want to delay starting their families for a few years, so they can be the best parents they can be.

“At Planned Parenthood, we offer every woman the full range of contraceptive options — including the IUD and the implant — and information to help her make an informed decision about which method is best for her at this particular point in her life. IUDs and implants have extremely low failure rates — less than one percent — which rival the rates seen with permanent birth control. And unlike permanent birth control, your ability to get pregnant returns quickly once the device is removed.

“IUDs and implants don’t require women to remember to do something every day, or just before intercourse, or once a month, or even every three months to prevent pregnancy, like taking the pill or other methods.  Once an IUD or implant is inserted, you can pretty much just forget about it.

“It’s important for people of all ages to remember that these methods don’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases, so using condoms in addition to another form of birth control is the best way to prevent both pregnancy and STDs.

“Planned Parenthood wants all young people to have the information and resources they need to prevent unintended pregnancy, meet their life goals, and start their families when the time is right for them. We hope this report helps raise awareness about the safety and efficacy of IUDs and implants among women of all ages.”

Every year, Planned Parenthood provides family planning counseling and contraception to 2.1 million patients. Planned Parenthood offers women information and education on the full range of birth control options to help them make informed decisions about which contraceptive method is best for them. Planned Parenthood always provides patients with information about the benefits and risks of any specific birth control method and answers any questions they may have when helping each woman choose the method that’s best for her.

Since 2009, Planned Parenthood health centers have seen a 91 percent increase in the use of IUDs and implants, with IUD use increasing 57 percent and contraceptive implant use growing 361 percent. From 2012 to 2013, Planned Parenthood saw a 38 percent increase in patients with contraceptive implants and a 12 percent increase in patients with IUDs.

Other key findings:   

  • More teens are waiting to have sex, and of those who are sexually active, nearly 90 percent used birth control the last time they had sex.
  • Use of implants, rather than IUDs, accounted for most of the increase in LARC method use for both younger (ages 15-17) and older teens (ages 18-19).
  • Use of LARC methods in 2013 was highest in Colorado (26 percent) and ranged from less than one percent to 20 percent in the remaining states.

Background on IUDS and Implants:

  • Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods like the IUD and implant are the most effective methods of birth control available.
  • LARC methods are safe and effective for a wide variety of women, including those who have not yet had children.
  • Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced an update to its contraception policy, recommending that LARC methods be the first-line birth control option for adolescents.
  • LARC methods are also the most cost-effective methods of birth control, since they can provide coverage for up to 3-12 years.
  • Up-front cost can be a barrier for some women interested in using a LARC method. An IUD typically costs between $500 and $1,000, which covers the exam, insertion, and follow-up visit. Under the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, millions more women now have access to no-copay birth control, including LARC methods.
  • A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that when teenage girls and women ages 15 to 19 years old were provided accurate information about all their birth control options and supplied with the method of their choice at no cost, 72 percent chose an IUD or implant. The study found that participants had rates of pregnancy, birth, and abortion that were much lower than the national rates for sexually experienced teens.
  • Data published in 2012 from the Contraceptive CHOICE study showed that access to birth control counseling and methods without cost-sharing — as in the Affordable Care Act's birth control benefit — leads to significantly lower rates of unintended pregnancy. The full study followed more than 9,200 women and teens over four years, and found that when women have full information about the different types of birth control and full coverage of the cost of the method they select, many will choose IUDs or implants. Seventy-five percent of participants chose a LARC method, a much greater rate than originally predicted. 


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


April 07, 2015