CDC Reports: Few teens use the most effective types of birth control

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Improving access and education will further reduce teen pregnancy

preventing teen pregnancy
Health care professionals have a powerful role to play in reducing teen pregnancy.

Teen births continue to decline in the U.S., but still more than 273,000 infants were born to teens ages 15 to 19 in 2013. Childbearing during the teen years can carry health, economic, and social costs for mothers and their children.

The good news is that more teens are waiting to have sex, and of those who are sexually active, nearly 90 percent used birth control the last time they had sex. Data show that teens most often use condoms and birth control pills which, when not used consistently and correctly, are less effective for preventing pregnancy. According to this month’s Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, increasing access to Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) is one way to further reduce teen pregnancy.

“Health care professionals have a powerful role to play in reducing teen pregnancy. They can encourage teens not to have sex and discuss the use of IUDs and implants as contraceptive options available to teens who choose to be sexually active,” said CDC Principal Deputy Director Ileana Arias, Ph.D.

Vital Signs is a CDC report that appears on the first Tuesday of the month as part of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, or MMWR. The report provides the latest data and information on key health indicators.

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