Health/Fitness

Should teens be offered IUDs?

Monday, September 24, 2012
ABC11 Eyewitness News - WTVD

A leading group of physicians who advise on women's health has issued new guidelines recommending for the first time that doctors offer intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implantable contraception -- methods commonly referred to as long-acting reversible contraception -- to teenage patients.

An IUD is a small device placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. One type releases small doses of a hormone and can be used for five years; the other lasts 10 years and does not use hormones. Implantable contraception, or an implant, is a flexible, match-stick- sized rod placed under the skin that prevents pregnancy by releasing a hormone used in some birth control pills called progestin.

More than one third of young people ages 15 to 19 are sexually active, yet most teens are not using, and may not even know about, these birth control methods, according to statistics from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

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