Teenage girls more frequently use the pill or the patch, but their doctors should recommend IUDs or hormonal implants, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a leading group of health care providers focused on women’s health.
In releasing its updated guidelines for teens last week, the group said that physicians should discuss IUDs and implants with sexually active teens during every office visit, the Associated Press reports. IUDs and implants – long-lasting birth control methods that you don’t have to remember to use once they’re in place – are nearly 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.
Two reasons teens aren’t using IUDs and implants: cost and access. IUDs and implants cost more initially and require a doctor to put them in place, but they are the most reliable way to prevent pregnancy, the group said.
Dr. Tina Raine-Bennett, the head of the committee that wrote the recommendations, told the Associated Press that physicians need to be sensitive to mixed reactions from patients who may feel that IUDs and implants are too invasive. She also said that physicians need to provide detailed information to dispel any myths and allow teens to make informed decisions.
Check out the section devoted to birth control in the California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide . If you are a pregnant or parenting teen, you should talk to a doctor, nurse or health counselor about which method of birth control is right for you. There are also resources on the Web – such as Scarleteen’s post on Birth Control Bingo – that break down the pros and cons of various birth control methods.