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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Apr 10;64(13):363-9.

Vital signs: trends in use of long-acting reversible contraception among teens aged 15-19 years seeking contraceptive services—United States, 2005-2013.



Nationally, the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), specifically intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, by teens remains low, despite their effectiveness, safety, and ease of use.


To examine patterns in use of LARC among females aged 15-19 years seeking contraceptive services, CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Population Affairs analyzed 2005-2013 data from the Title X National Family Planning Program. Title X serves approximately 1 million teens each year and provides family planning and related preventive health services for low-income persons.


Use of LARC among teens seeking contraceptive services at Title X service sites increased from 0.4% in 2005 to 7.1% in 2013 (p-value for trend <0.001). Of the 616,148 female teens seeking contraceptive services in 2013, 17,349 (2.8%) used IUDs, and 26,347 (4.3%) used implants. Use of LARC was higher among teens aged 18-19 years (7.6%) versus 15-17 years (6.5%) (p<0.001). The percentage of teens aged 15-19 years who used LARC varied widely by state, from 0.7% (Mississippi) to 25.8% (Colorado).


Although use of LARC by teens remains low nationwide, efforts to improve access to LARC among teens seeking contraception at Title X service sites have increased use of these methods.


Health centers that provide quality contraceptive services can facilitate use of LARC among teens seeking contraception. Strategies to address provider barriers to offering LARC include: 1) educating providers that LARC is safe for teens; 2) training providers on LARC insertion and a client-centered counseling approach that includes discussing the most effective contraceptive methods first; and 3) providing contraception at reduced or no cost to the client.

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