The report highlights the ongoing need for health education and support for adolescents, their parents–and all women of reproductive age. There are several ways not only to ensure that the rate of adolescent pregnancy continues to decline (as it has since 2007), but also to prevent repeat teen pregnancies. These include linking pregnant and parenting teens to home-based and school-based programs and funding programs that offer clinical, nutritional and/or psychosocial support to this often-underserved group.
This is a unique opportunity to open the national conversation about safer sexual practices, birth spacing and birth control–especially long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Either an intra-uterine device or an implant in the arm, LARCs are the most effective form of birth control. They are safe for teens and, depending on the type, are effective for three to 10 years. These approaches, including LARC, are a golden opportunity to enhance teenagers’ long-term health.
Parents of teens, what do you tell them about birth control and pregnancy? Teens, how do you and your friends talk about it? Tell us in the comments.