0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
JAMA Pediatrics Patient Page |

Long-Acting Reversible Contraception for Adolescents FREE

Megan A Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(5):516. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.2526.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Preventing unwanted pregnancy among adolescents is a priority for parents as well as pediatricians.

In 2014, there were 24.2 births for every 1000 female adolescents 15 to 19 years of age. Although the teen birth rate in the United States has decreased over the past 20 years, it is still higher than that of many other developed countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom.

Being an adolescent parent is associated with negative consequences for the adolescent parents, their children, and society. Children born to adolescents face many challenges, including having poorer educational, behavioral, and health outcomes compared with children born to older parents. Adolescents who have children face increased barriers to completing school, obtaining jobs, and achieving their personal goals.

Today there are 2 new and safe approaches to help prevent teen pregnancy. These methods are often referred to as long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) devices. These methods provide reliable contraception because once they are placed by a health care professional, the adolescent is protected from pregnancy. These methods have advantages over other forms of contraception that rely on adolescents to remember to take pills or get shots. These LARC devices include the following:

  • The intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, T-shaped piece of plastic that gets placed in the uterus. Having an IUD present interferes with the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. Many IUDs also have small amounts of hormone present to stabilize the uterine lining and further prevent pregnancy. The IUD offers years of protection, typically between 3 and 10 years depending on the type of IUD.

  • An implant is a very small rod that can be inserted under the skin of the upper arm. It is so small that it is typically not visible on the arm. The implant releases the hormone progesterone (which is normally present in a woman’s body) at a constant rate. This consistent release of progesterone prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg, so that pregnancy cannot occur. The implant can be left in place for up to 3 years.

Because these methods are newer, there can be misconceptions and myths about their use. This month’s JAMA Pediatrics includes a study describing the use of LARC devices among adolescents. Three common myths about LARC devices are as follows:

THREE COMMON MYTHS ABOUT LARC DEVICES

  1. Long-acting reversible contraception devices are dangerous and can cause infections or infertility. Many research studies have evaluated LARC devices and found them to be safe, effective, and reversible so that teens can prevent pregnancy during adolescence and be healthy for the option of pregnancy in adulthood.

  2. Teens are too young to make a commitment to a long-acting form of contraception. One of the best things about an LARC device is that it can last for years and provide protection against pregnancy throughout adolescence. However, there is no minimum requirement for how long it has to stay in; you can have all forms of long-acting contraception removed at any time on request.

  3. Getting an LARC device placed is very painful. Pain varies from person to person, and it is hard to know how any given patient will feel. Many patients describe this pain as being similar to getting a flu shot or a Papanicolaou test. There are ways to make the placement process less painful, and you can talk to your physician if you are concerned about pain during the procedure.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

The JAMA Pediatrics Patient Page is a public service of JAMA Pediatrics. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your child’s medical condition, JAMA Pediatrics suggests that you consult your child’s physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians and other health care professionals to share with patients. To purchase bulk reprints, call 312/464-0776.

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

888 Views
0 Citations
×

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
Jobs
JAMAevidence.com

The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis
Update

The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis
Pretest Probabilities and Likelihood Ratios for Clinical Findings