Teen births have declined in the US over the past 20 years to the lowest levels ever recorded, but still more than 86,000 teens ages 15 to 17 gave birth in 2012. More can and needs to be done to prevent teens from becoming pregnant.
Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals can provide confidential, respectful, and culturally appropriate services to meet the needs of teen clients. They can encourage teens who are not sexually active to continue to wait. Providers can offer sexually active teens a broad range of contraceptive methods and encourage them to use the most effective methods. Finally they can counsel teens about the importance of condom use for the preventions of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
- ^ Hello, I'm Dr. Denise Jamieson, a physician
in the division of reproductive health
at the Center's for Disease Control and Prevention.
I am pleased to join you today.
I want to talk about teen pregnancy prevention,
especially evidence and insights we have from
our research and work in communities.
First, we may see teens before they become sexually active.
This is a good time to assess their needs
and discuss their concerns.
Dispelling myths and providing accurate information early
could help teens better understand the responsibilities
that come with sexual activity.
Second, we can provide confidential, respectful
and culturally appropriate services
that meet the needs of teens.
If you have a teen friendly practice,
you have clear policies and procedures related
to confidentiality and privacy.
Our CDC website includes information that may help you start
or continue the discussion about teen friendly services.
Third, we know you may be taking steps to improve
the quality of services for both female and male teens.
Working with the U.S. Population Affairs,
CDC recently published recommendations
on providing quality family planning services.
It's for anyone offering services to adults and teens.
You can use these recommendation to develop
high quality clinical services and programs for teens,
including contraceptive and preventive health services.
Recommendations are included
on counseling adolescent patients,
providing confidential services,
encouraging communication between adolescents
and their parents and preventing repeat teen pregnancies.
Finally, you may have questions about
which contraceptive methods are safe for teens.
Teens can use all methods of contraception,
including long-acting, reversible contraception or LARCs,
which include intrauterine devices and implants.
We developed a series of resources to help you identify
the best methods available given
your patient's medical history and contraceptive needs.
Please visit CDC's website today and explore these resources
and tools that could help prevent teen pregnancy.
While teen birth rates are declining, we can't afford
to become complacent about this matter.
We at CDC appreciate your work to help teens
and their parents navigate the waters of adolescence.
Reproductive Health Department
Center for Disease Control and Prevention