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Curr Womens Health Rep. 2001 Oct;1(2):116-23.

New options in contraception for adolescents.

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  • 1Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, G437, 3705 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2583, USA.


There have been several recent advances in the contraceptive methods available to adolescents in the United States. A new monthly injectable method combines efficacy and ease of compliance with excellent menstrual cycle control. Very low-dose oral contraceptive pills containing gonane progestins decrease the incidence of estrogen-related side effects, and are associated with low rates of breakthrough bleeding. Oral contraceptive pills prescribed in continuous cycles can provide relief from menstrual-related symptoms, and may improve contraceptive effectiveness. Noncontraceptive benefits of oral contraceptive pills, such as improvement in dysmenorrhea and acne, may motivate more consistent pill-taking, and should be identified as additional reasons for pill continuation. Maximizing the prescribing time limit of emergency contraception to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse may improve access. Emergency contraception is more effective the sooner it is used, and should be provided in advance to adolescents for immediate use in the event a postcoital method becomes necessary.

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