Experts recommend birth control options for teens
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The only effective ways to avoid contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is to abstain from sex or use a condom during every sexual encounter. However, there are a number of ways for people to reduce their risk of experiencing an unwanted pregnancy, since sperm are more easily blocked than viruses and bacteria. Recently, a group of the leading gynecologists in the U.S. called for more teenage girls to be given implants or intrauterine devices (IUDs) to be used for birth control, rather than relying on the pill.
In a recent update of their contraceptive guidelines for teens, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said that IUDs and implants are nearly 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. These devices can be inserted by a doctor, and then do not require the user to do anything on a daily basis for them to remain effective. However, far more young girls are on the birth control pill, which usually needs to be taken every single day, preferably at the same time.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported on the new recommendations by the ACOG. Although they encourage the use of IUDs and implants, they also recognize the importance of condoms.
"The gynecologists group said condoms should still be used at all times because no other birth control method protects against AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases," according to the news source.
Many young girls are hesitant of using an IUD because they feel uncomfortable with putting a device into their body. However, the ACOG states that it's more effective to have young girls use contraceptives that do not require them to take a pill every day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 360,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth each year. Furthermore, individuals in this age group have an increased risk of STDs, which is why it's important to encourage regular contraceptive use among this population.
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