There's Better Birth Control for Teens Than the Pill

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends IUDs, implants
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2014 10:26 AM CDT
Updated Sep 29, 2014 10:44 AM CDT
There's Better Birth Control for Teens Than the Pill
In this undated image provided by Merck, a model holds the Nexplanon hormonal implant for birth control.   (AP Photo/Merck)

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its policy on birth control, and the pill clocks in at a distant fourth in terms of recommended methods for teen girls. The new guidance advises that teens use long-acting methods like IUDs or hormonal implants, which are almost 100% effective and do a better job in preventing pregnancy than birth control pills, patches, and injections. NBC News has the order of recommendation:

  1. Progestin implants like Implanon or Nexplanon
  2. Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  3. Depo-Provera, which is injected every 13 to 15 weeks
  4. Combined oral contraceptive pills

Condoms are currently teens' No. 1 birth control choice, reports the AP. Though condoms appear low on the academy's list of recommended birth control, the policy pushes for condoms to be used in every instance of teen sex to guard against STDs. The guidance also notes that "an important part of contraceptive counseling" is a discussion about abstinence. The policy statement's lead author does acknowledge that IUDs and hormonal implants can cost hundreds more than other birth control methods, but points out that because they last for years, they're cheaper than the pill in the long run. The recommendations are in line with what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended in 2012. (More birth control pill stories.)

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