May 4, 2012
Teen Girls Using More Effective Forms Of Contraception
Connie K. Ho for RedOrbit.com
A recent report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights interesting results about teens and contraception. The findings were published in the May 4 issue of the CDC´s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. With the information that was found in the study, the CDC is working towards the Healthy People 2020 goal of lowering teen pregnancy rates by 10 percent.
To begin, the article states that the majority of girls in the U.S. do not have sex before the age 19, which is a change from previous years. In 1995, 49 percent of girls said they had never had sex. According to the report, between 2006 and 2010, 57 percent of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 said that they had never had sex.
"The majority of teens report never having had sex," remarked report author Crystal Pirtle Tyler, a CDC health scientist, in an article by U.S. News. "It would be great if teens know that the majority of teens have never had sex."
In addition, teen girls who did have sex were found to be using highly effective modes types of contraceptives. The use of contraceptives helps explain the recent decrease in teen pregnancies. In 1995, 47 percent of girls said they had used contraceptives. According to the report, between 2006 and 2010, 60 percent of sexually active girls between the ages of 15 and 19 said that they had used contraceptives. This included objects like intrauterine devices, the pill, patches, rings, and injectable contraceptions.
Furthermore, the report highlighted different demographics. It stated that these highly effective methods of contraception were used more by whites (66 percent) than black (46 percent) or Hispanic teens (54 percent). Younger teens were also not as likely to have sex. According to the report, 73 percent of girls between 15 and 17 never had sex compared to 36 percent of girls between 18 and 19 who had never had sex.
Even though the U.S. teen birth rate declined by 44 percent between 1990 and 2010, the percentage of pregnant teens is still higher than other developed countries. In 2010, there were around 368,000 births by teens between the ages of 15 and 19.
"We know there have been declines in teen pregnancy, which is wonderful, and increases in abstinence among teens, which is really wonderful also," explained Tyler in the U.S. News article. "There has also been increases in contraceptive use."
According to MSNBC, The CDC believes that different sectors of society can provide resources on sexual education.
"Addressing the complex issue of teen childbearing requires a comprehensive approach to sexual and reproductive health that includes continued promotion of delayed sexual debut, and increased use of highly effective contraception among sexually experienced teens," noted the report.
The organization advocates that schools and community organizations maintain health education programs to help continue the decrease in the rates of teen pregnancies. They advise parents to address these issues with their children. Lastly, they believe that healthcare providers should continue to inform teens of all available options of contraception.
"A comprehensive approach to sexual and reproductive health that includes continued promotion of delayed sexual debut and increased use of highly effective contraception among sexually experienced teens," commented the CDC.