Although long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) such as intrauterine devices and subdermal implants remain the most effective methods of contraception for teenagers, most adolescents continue to use less reliable methods. The purpose of this study was to determine: (1) the distribution of contraceptive type according to age of the patients in our clinic system (Baylor Teen Health Clinic); and (2) the differences in this distribution over the past decade.
This study was a comprehensive chart review of at least 15,500 charts for the years 2005 to 2014.
Baylor Teen Health Clinic.
Participants, Interventions, and Main Outcome Measures
Charts of patients less than 25 years of age who attended one of the 9 Baylor Teen Health Clinics were reviewed. Contraceptive uptake by age and year was the main outcome measured.
The percentage of women younger than age 25 years who used LARC increased for all age groups from 2005 to 2014, with the greatest increase for women 20-24 years old (<1% to 9%). The percentage of women using no method decreased for all age groups from 2005 to 2014 with the greatest decrease for women 15-19 years old (9% to 5%). The percentage of women using less effective methods decreased for teenagers younger than 18 years old, but increased for women 20-24 years old and remained the same for women 18-19 years old. Use of pills/patches/rings decreased for all age groups and use of hormonal injections increased for all age groups, with the greatest increase for teenagers younger than 15 years of age (35% to 68%). Our clinic population has a greater proportion of teenagers and young women using LARC than the national average, possibly because of the increased access to LARC when these women enter our clinic system. Nevertheless, less than 10% of all age groups studied used LARC, with the proportion being lowest in teenagers younger than 18 years.
More efforts need to be placed on determining the reasons for low LARC uptake despite greatest efficacy in this young, vulnerable population.
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Published online: May 21, 2019
This work was supported by the NICHD of the National Institutes of Health under award number K23HD086247-01A1.
The authors indicate no conflicts of interest.
© 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.