The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is now recommending IUDs and hormonal implants as birth control options to teens. Previous possible complications from these two methods have been eliminated with the newer models. A government survey showed that 43% of girls Ages 15 to 19 are having sex.
Currently, 95% of these girls are using some form of birth control or crossing their fingers and 5% are using one of these two methods. The effectiveness of birth control pills can be as low as 91% if not taken properly. The IUDs and the hormonal implants prevent pregnancy nearly 100% of the time.
These methods, once inserted, are maintenance free for years. The IUD can be left in for up to ten years and the implant can be left in for three years. I can see why doctors think that it's a good idea to recommend these options for teens. They are idiot-proof! Once they are inserted you don't have to think about it again for a few years! There is no worrying about remembering to take a pill. There isn't a concern about how to properly take the pill. Teens can have sex as often as they like without a thought about the possibility of getting pregnant. Hopefully they are still thinking about sexually transmitted diseases.
There are people who get pregnant while they are taking birth control pills. They get pregnant because they don't take them properly or they ignored their doctor's warning about antibiotics interfering with their effectiveness. Some teens are fearful of these two scenarios.
If teens are being urged by doctors to get an IUD or an implant and told they these methods are nearly 100% effective at preventing pregnancy, will they use these methods? There are 21 states that allow teens to get contraceptives without their parent's permission. Will they go buck wild having sex because the fear of getting pregnant has been eliminated? Will word spread among teens about these options and cause teens who refrained from sex for fear of pregnancy to feel more comfortable having sex?
Any woman taking birth control pills, always has a thought of pregnancy in the back of her mind while waiting for her monthly visitor. I think that teens (ages 15 - 17) should continue to have a fear of pregnancy every time they engage in adult behavior. This fear will make them think about the possible consequences of their actions. Should we make it easier for teens to engage in sex, while we are helping to prevent pregnancy at the same time? Tough question!
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