Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Health Care Providers and Teen Pregnancy Prevention

 

Teen birth rates in the United States have declined to the lowest rates seen in seven decades, yet still rank highest among developed countries. Contributing to this decline are increases in the proportion of teens who have never had sex, combined with increases in contraceptive use among sexually active teens.1,2  As a health care provider, you play a critical role in further reducing teen pregnancy rates through the care you provide to your adolescent patients.

Teens need regular health care services to receive comprehensive sexual and reproductive health counseling about the importance of delaying the initiation of sexual activity and about their contraceptive options. They need counseling on which method would be best for them, and on how to use that method correctly and consistently. Parents and guardians also need guidance and information to help them talk with their teens about sex, pregnancy, and contraception.

What Health Care Providers Can Do

 

During the Clinic Visit

  • Ask your male and female adolescent patients about their past and current sexual and reproductive history.
  • Counsel teens who are not sexually active to continue to wait.
  • Counsel those who are sexually active that they can have less sex, or can decide not to have sex at all.
  • Counsel sexually active teens on the importance of always using dual methods—such as an IUD or hormonal method, and a condom—to prevent pregnancy, and STDs including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  • Take the time to help sexually active teen patients make an informed decision about what contraceptive method would suit them best. Counsel them on the importance of and how to use their contraception correctly and consistently.

 

Counseling, screening, and treating of STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and human papilloma virus are a critical part of adolescent reproductive health visits. Read more to get updated STD screening and treatment guidelines.

Video Presentations

Image of video: Dr. Denise Jamieson discusses how healthcare professionals can help further reduce teen pregnancy rates.

How Can Doctors Help in the Prevention of Teen Pregnancy
CDC is at the forefront of preventing unwanted teen pregnancy and dramatic declines have been documented throughout the past two decades. Dr. Denise Jamieson discusses how healthcare professionals can help further reduce teen pregnancy rates.

CDC Medscape Commentary: Teen Pregnancy and Reproductive Health image capture

 

Let’s Talk About Sexual Health
Video for doctors and young adults on how to talk about sexual health.

 

CDC Medscape Commentary: Teen Pregnancy and Reproductive Health image capture

CDC Medscape Commentary: Teen Pregnancy and Reproductive Health
From CDC Expert Commentary, Teen Pregnancy and Reproductive Health, Wanda D. Barfield, MD, MPH.

 

CDC Director Dr. Frieden discusses Teen Pregnancy on Medscape capture image

CDC Director Dr. Frieden discusses Teen Pregnancy on Medscape
Three Winnable Battles and Other Wars: A Talk With Thomas Frieden. Interview with Eli Y. Adashi, MD and Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH.

Resources

American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Adolescent Health Care
(some sections are available to members only)

Get Yourself Tested (GYT) Campaign’s Clinic Tools and Resources
With a focus on STDs, the GYT Web site offers resources to help providers better serve your teen and young adult patients. Here you will find resources for talking with patients about sexual history, training resources, materials for your clinic, and information on billing for confidential services. You also will find teen-friendly office tips, and information on dealing with consent and confidentiality issues that are so important to adolescent patients.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexual experience and contraceptive use among female teens—United States, 1995, 2002, and 2006–2010Source: MMWR. 2012;61:297-301.

2. Santelli JS, Lindberg LD, Finer LB, Singh S. Explaining recent declines in adolescent pregnancy in the United States: the contribution of abstinence and improved contraceptive use. Am J Public Health. 2007;97:150-156.

TOP