A recent CDC Vital Signs report shows that nearly 90% of teens used birth control the last time they had sex, but less than 5% of them used the most effective type of birth control known as LARC (or Long-Acting Reversible Contraception) which includes intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants. Teens most often used condoms and birth control pills, which are less effective at preventing pregnancy when not used consistently and correctly.
Health care providers can encourage teens to delay having sex or make informed choices about birth control if they are sexually active. Providers can also offer a broad range of birth control options for teens, including LARC, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Providers should also remind teens that LARC by itself does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, and that condoms should also be used every time they have sex. Increasing awareness, access, and availability of LARC can help teens make the best informed decision they can about their reproductive health.
For more information on the CDC Vital Signs report on LARC, click here.View Video Transcript