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Pediatric Contraceptive and Reproductive Counseling

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Summary

Adolescent and young adult pregnancy rates in the United States have declined over the last several years, but any adolescent pregnancy that occurs puts a significant emotional, physical, and financial strain on the adolescents and their families.

Expanded Overview

Although we recommend that adolescents postpone sexual activity until they are fully ready for the potential consequences, we realize that some young people will be sexually active.

At Children’s Health, we provide contraceptive and reproductive counseling to help adolescents and young adults reduce risks and negative health consequences associated with sexual behaviors, including unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

We also provide comprehensive patient care that considers the physical, emotional, social, economic, and spiritual needs for male and female patients 11 to 21 years old. Our team of health care professionals provides compassionate, sensitive care to help teenagers and their families manage the physical, emotional, and social challenges of adolescence.

If your child is sexually active, he or she should know what contraceptive methods are available and how they are used to prevent pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections.

Providing this information to adolescents does not result in increased rates of sexual activity, earlier age of first intercourse, or a greater number of sexual partners – instead, it helps protect your child and his/her partner, and greatly reduces the risk of an unplanned pregnancy and/or disease.

Types

There are several types of contraception, each with varying levels of effectiveness.

  • Condoms are easy to use and protect against several infections, including the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. Condoms, however, are less effective in preventing pregnancy than some forms of birth control.
  • Birth control pills are very effective at preventing pregnancy – though not sexually transmitted infections – as long as your daughter remembers to take them as directed.
    • The American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends long-acting reversible contraceptives as most effective for teens. These include hormone-releasing implants (known as Nexplanon) and intrauterine devices (IUDs) - such as Mirena.

Access to reproductive counseling can help teens address issues like peer pressure, confusion, or conflicts that occur as they develop sexually. 

Resources

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