American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Contraception Recommendations
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently announced that it has updated its recommendations regarding contraception and adolescents. The AAP now joins the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) in including long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs), such as the IUD and contraceptive implant, among birth control methods recommended for young people who are sexually active and wish to prevent pregnancy, and in urging pediatricians to discuss these methods with their patients. “Pediatricians should not rely on abstinence counseling alone, but should additionally provide comprehensive sexual health information to all adolescents,” according to the AAP’s new policy.
IUDs and contraceptive implants provide very effective protection from pregnancy – less than 1% of women using these methods experience pregnancy. In fact, any method of contraception is vastly more effective than no method of contraception; 85% of those who use no method become pregnant within a year. It’s important to note that IUDs, implants, and also hormonal methods like injectables and the pill do not offer protection from sexually transmitted infections and HIV; they must be used in combination with condoms to prevent HIV and STI transmission.
Check out Advocates’ fact sheet on LARCS: Young Women and Long-Acting Reversible Contraception
And our guide for youth-serving professionals, educators, and health care providers: Providing LARCs to Young Women