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The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests IUD and implants, such as the Nexplanon hormonal implant, as birth control for teens. The group said condoms should still be used at all times.
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Date published: 9/21/2012
In 21 states, all teenagers can get contraceptives without parental permission, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks laws affecting women's health. A few other states allow it under certain circumstances.
The IUD and implant cost hundreds of dollars. The new health reform law requires health insurance plans to cover birth control without co-payments. Also, some publicly funded health clinics offer birth control free or at a reduced cost.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has been more cautious and has not endorsed specific methods of birth control, but is updating its guidance. Some pediatricians have been reluctant to recommend IUDs for teens, partly because of concerns over infection risks; an older model was blamed for infertility.
Dr. Paula Braverman, a University of Cincinnati physician involved in updating the academy's position, said the gynecologists' advice does a good job of clarifying misconceptions about IUDs and implants.
An IUD called the Dalkon Shield that was sold in the 1970s was linked to dangerous and sometimes deadly infections. Newer IUDs have been found to be safe, and the gynecologists group said the risk of pelvic infections increases only slightly during the first three weeks after insertion.
The hormonal implant has been updated, too. The newest kind uses just one thin rod; an older type no longer sold in the U.S. used six rods that sometimes didn't stay in place.