Birth Control Recommendations
Teenage pregnancy rates in the United States continue to be among the highest in the industrialized nations and estimates suggest 614,000 women aged younger than 20 years still become pregnant each year, indicating that roughly 1 in 4 teenage girls will get pregnant at least once by age 20 years. You can find more about this here…
In the table below you will see listed the options available. With the move in Oregon to make oral contraceptives available without a doctor visit and without a prescription, I suspect that will become a popular method. While I applaud the freedom and access this will provide, I am concerned that the explosion of use of these synthetic horse-urine derived hormones will in turn result in an unprecedented number of complications.
My son’s 22 year old previously healthy tutor, who is like family to us, was hospitalized and near death for a while from blood clots to her lungs and her foot. It was determined that this was a side effect of the oral birth control pills. It would seem for those not sexually active, you should know about the morning after pill (emergency contraception) options. If you are sexually active, unless you want to have a child, you should pick one of the safer and reliable methods. I suspect the copper IUD at this point is one of the better options when you consider both safety and effectiveness. Use of the condom adds protection from STD”s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and STI’s (Sexually Transmitted Infections).
Parents, remember that your teenager is entitled to confidential care in this area of health. I have a few families in my practice who home school and manage to keep the home environment certifiably safe! I’ve noticed their approach to avoid conflict over this area is that a parent remains in the room for the duration of the medical visit. This ensures that nothing will be said that goes against their beliefs. I would reassure parents that the intent is always to guide and protect your child, giving them a safe place to discuss any and all concerns.
You can read more about the AAP stance and guidelines for contraception here…