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Teen IUD Implants Supported by Pediatricians
- Updated: October 1, 2014
Even though there has been a decline in teen pregnancy within the past few years, this remains a serious problem. To fight the battle, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is reportedly recommending long-acting contraceptive devices such as the IUD as the first choice of birth control for teenage girls.
Typically, young girls use birth control pills or condoms but according to the AAP, intrauterine device (IUDs) implants are far more reliable. As stated in the most recent publication in the journal Pediatrics, for girls who do not want to remain abstinent, IUDs should be the first option in preventing pregnancy.
The AAP guidelines are much the same as established by various other medical societies to include the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Most experts agree, saying they hope this recommendation will increase the use of IUDs and other implants among teenage girls.
Dr. David Eisenberg, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washing University in Missouri says the move to recommend these devices is fantastic. He adds that IUDs and implants should be the default first line contraceptive used and is thrilled that major medical or public health organizations in the US agree.
The Planned Parenthood explains that IUDs are implanted in the uterus and release tiny amounts of the hormone progestin or copper. This implant is the size of a matchstick and can be inserted under the skin of the arm, an easy and quick procedure.
Two popular types of IUDs hit the top of the list to include Mirena that prevents unwanted pregnancy for up to five years by releasing progestin and ParaGard that releases copper and lasts for about 10 years. Another optin is called Implanon, which is said to prevent pregnancy for three years.
The problem with birth control pills and condoms according to Megan Kavanaugh, researcher at the Guttmacher Institute in New York, is they have to be used in a perfect manner. For teenage girls, this is often not the case.
However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that between 0.2% and 0.8% of girls who use an UID will still become pregnant within a year of implant. While the risk is low, girls need to understand an IUD is not a fool-proof solution.
Dr. Mary Ott, one of the authors of the new recommendation and associate professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine says that data has been gathered for more than 10 years, which shows that IUDs are completely safe for teenage girls. To continue the downward trend of teen pregnancy rates, long-acting contraceptives are an excellent tool.
Currently, the cost of IUDs is between $500 and $1,000 compared to contraceptive implants that have a price of $400 to $800, which is typically covered by insurers. Within the United States, there are different laws per state specific to parental consent although confidential services funded by the federal Title X are required by family planning clinics.