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American Academy of Pediatrics Announces Recommendation Today

New York, NY – Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced an update to its contraception policy, recommending that IUDs and implants – also known as LARC (long-acting reversible contraception) – be the first-line birth control method for adolescents.

Statement from Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President of External Medical Affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“This recommendation supports what we already know about IUDs and implants: They are a great birth control option for women who want to preserve their ability to become pregnant while getting the best possible pregnancy prevention. IUDs and implants are safe for most women, including women who have not yet had children, and they are an especially good option for younger women, who often want to delay starting their families for a few years, so they can be the best parents they can be.

“Planned Parenthood believes that every woman, no matter where she is in life, should have full information on all her birth control options so she can make the best decision for herself about which method is right for her.

“IUDs and implants have extremely low failure rates – less than one percent – which rival the rates seen with permanent birth control.  Importantly, long-acting reversible contraception doesn’t require women to remember to do something to prevent pregnancy every day, like the pill – or just before intercourse, or once a month, or even every three months, like other methods.  Once an IUD or implant is inserted, you can pretty much just forget about it.

“One important thing to remember for people of all ages is 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 recommendation helps raise awareness about the safety and efficacy of IUDs and implants among women of all ages, and especially among young women.”

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.

Background on LARCs:

  • 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.
  • LARC methods are also the most cost-effective methods of birth control, since they can provide coverage for up to 12 years.
  • In 2009, 8.5 percent of women using contraceptives relied on a LARC method, an increase from 5.5 percent in 2007 and 2.4 percent in 2002. Most of the women who use long-acting reversible contraception methods use IUDs.
  • 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.
  • 2012 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 study, which followed more than 9,200 women and teens over four years, 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


September 29, 2014


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