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J Pediatr Health Care. 2002 Jan-Feb;16(1):3-9.

Adolescents and emergency contraception.

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  • 1Hunter College Schools of the Health Professions, New York, NY 10010, USA.


The United States has a high rate of teen pregnancies. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved hormonal emergency contraception (EC), which can be used after unprotected intercourse to reduce the likelihood that a pregnancy will occur. Several pill regimens that are now available by prescription only are safe and effective if used within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. However, teens generally have a low level of awareness of EC, and because the pills are available only by prescription, teens must request a prescription from their pediatric nurse practitioner quickly. Therefore, it may be prudent to provide EC to sexually active teens before the need for it arises.

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