Doctors Say IUDs and Implants Are Best Teen Choice For Birth Control

The American Academy of Pediatrics has just announced that it is supporting IUDs and implants as the first choice for contraceptive use in teens.

Over 80 percent of the three-quarter of a million teenage pregnancies each year in the United States are unintended, a fact that drove the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation. Their new guidelines were published yesterday in the latest issue of Pediatrics.

Dr. David Eisenberg, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis, commented on the Academy’s new guidelines.

“I’m happy to see that every major medical or public health organization in the United States agree that IUDs and implants should be the ‘default’ first-line contraceptive methods for all women and girls who want them.”

For those unfamiliar with IUDs and implants, they both work by releasing small amounts of the hormone progestin consistently into the woman’s body. IUDs, (or intrauterine device), are placed in the uterus while implants are inserted in the arm. IUDs and implants can remain effective for as much as three to ten years.

The problem with birth control pills with regards to teens is that they forget to take them. The pill must be taken on a daily basis and women must also get refills regularly from a pharmacy.

Not only are IUDs and implants more fool-proof than birth control pills, they also work better, according to a 2012 study as reported by Eurekalert. IUDs and implants were said to be 20 times more effective than other methods of birth control like the pill or the patch.

Dr. Jeffery Peipert, who wrote that 2012 study, agreed with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ latest guidelines.

“IUDs and implants are more effective because women can forget about them after clinicians put the devices in place.”

The announcement of these new guidelines by American Academy of Pediatrics is sure to draw criticism from pro-abstinence groups across the country. However, a 2007 federal report on the impacts of abstinence education programs determined that those programs had failed significantly. States that teach abstinence-only education, like Mississippi, have the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country, whereas states which require comprehensive sex education in their schools, education that includes not only abstinence but also information about condoms and contraception, like New Hampshire, have the lowest rates of teen pregnancy in the country.

All of this amounts to compelling evidence for the recommendation of IUDs and implants to teenage girls as safe and reliable methods of birth control.

image via lifeway