Question: What do you think is the most effective way for sexually active teens to reduce their risk of pregnancy?
If you answered IUD and implants – also called long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) – your thinking is aligned with the American Academy of Pediatrics. The health organization recently updated its contraception policy and recommended that LARC methods be the first-line approach to birth control among young women aged 15 to 19 years old.
A new study provided participants with accurate information about all of their birth control options, including LARC methods and supplied them with their method of choice at no cost. Of the 1,400 young women who participated, 72 percent chose an IUD or implant. This suggests that young women prefer a method that doesn’t require remembering to do something every day to prevent pregnancy, like taking the pill. With a LARC, women also don’t have to think about birth control just before intercourse, once a month, or even every three months, like they do with some methods.
The results of the study: Rates of pregnancy, birth, and abortion were much lower than the national rates for sexually active teens. In fact, the rate of unintended pregnancy with LARC methods rivals that of sterilization – less than 1%. The difference is that once a woman discontinues with a LARC method, she is able to become pregnant.
Planned Parenthood offers LARC methods at our health centers for women of all ages. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions more women now have access to no co-pay birth control, including LARC methods.
At Planned Parenthood, we want all people to have the information and resources they need to prevent unintended pregnancy, meet their life goals, and start their families when – and if – the time is right for them.
We applaud the American Academy of Pediatrics for its continued commitment to reducing the rate of teen pregnancy in the United States.