Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Paediatricians urge IUDs or implants for teen girls

Published:Thursday | October 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM
In this undated file image provided by Merck, a model holds the Nexplanon hormonal implant for birth control.

CHICAGO (AP): Teen girls who have sex should use intra-uterine devices (IUDs) or hormonal implants, long-acting birth control methods that are effective, safe and easy to use, the nation's most influential paediatricians' group recommends.

In an updated policy, the American Academy of Pediatrics says condoms also should be used every time teens have sex, to provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases that other forms of birth control don't provide, and to boost chances of preventing pregnancy.

Condoms alone are the most common birth-control choice among teens, but with typical use, they're among the least effective methods at preventing pregnancy. Both long-acting methods are nearly 100 per cent effective, with lower failure rates than birth control pills, patches and injections, the academy says.

Less expensive in the long run

IUDs and hormonal implants cost more, usually hundreds of dollars, because inserting them involves a medical procedure typically done in doctors' offices. But they're less expensive in the long run than over-the-counter condoms or prescription birth-control pills, said Dr Mary Ott, an adolescent medicine specialist and associate paediatrics professor at Indiana University. She is the policy statement's lead author.

Teens have to remember to use pills and condoms consistently. By contrast, IUDs typically work for three to 10 years after insertion while implants typically last three years.

The new guidance was published Monday in Pediatrics. It echoes 2012 recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.