WUFT News

Unpopular birth control recommended over mainstays

By on September 25th, 2012

A national health organization found almost half of U.S. adolescents in their late teens have had sex, but less than five percent of female birth-control users in their late teens use the most effective method.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a Washington, D.C.-based organization of medical professionals, names long-acting reversible contraception as the preferred birth control method and now suggests doctors discuss it alongside short-acting contraception.

Short-acting contraceptive methods, such as condoms, patches and pills, are more popular.

This form of birth control is cheaper, more available and less invasive than the long-lasting methods, which are inserted by a doctor.

Users of long-lasting birth control, which includes contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices, or IUDs, face pregnancy rates of less than one percent a year, according to a report from the organization’s Committee on Adolescent Health Care dated for next month.

IUDs are small, T-shaped plastic pieces placed in the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. Implants are matchstick-size plastic rods placed under the skin of the upper arm. They can last three years, according to the Huffington Post.

The Post shows both devices cost hundreds of dollars, but some publicly-funded health clinics offer free or reduced-cost birth control. The new health reform law mandates health insurance plans cover birth control without co-payments.

Implants are matchstick-sized plastic rods placed in the arm and can last up to three years, according to the Post.

The report shows 42 percent of teenagers ages 15-19 have had sex, and a fifth of unintended pregnancies in the U.S. are from adolescents.

Unwanted pregnancies from short-lasting birth control is 22 times higher than ones from long-lasting methods.

Though overall long-lasting birth control use increased to 8.5 percent in 2009, more than tripling 2002’s popularity, only 4.5 percent of females in this age group use long-lasting birth control, usually IUDs, according to the report.

For some adolescents, using long-lasting birth control lacks privacy because they need to use a parent’s insurance to pay, according to the report.

In Florida, minors can buy birth control without their parents’ permission if they are married, a parent, is or was pregnant and have physician-determined health concerns, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which monitors sexual and reproductive laws.

However, short-lasting birth control fails more often and is properly repeatedly used less often than its counterpart. The report still suggests sexually active adolescents continue using condoms because IUDs and implants don’t protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Fears about IUDs and implants dislodging, being unsafe for adolescents or causing infertility are unfounded, according to the report. It suggests doctors present both birth control methods to patients.

Dr. Sharon Byun, an assistant professor in the University of Florida Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Division of Gynecology, said the concerns over these methods originated with poorly made IUDs in the 1970s.

She said today’s IUDs are much safer and require minimal patient maintenance. Any risks with IUDs happen when they’re inserted.

Ryanne Doumet contributed to this article.


This entry was posted in Health and Science, National and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Health and Science

CDC Creates Stricter Guidelines For Treatment Of Ebola Patients

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created stricter guidelines for the treatment of Ebola patients. The new guidelines address training and hands-on experience, preventing skin exposure, and strict observation of putting on and taking off Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).


Hydrocodone has been moved to a stricter schedule II drug from a schedule III, making it more difficult to obtain for prescribed patients.

Hydrocodone Now More Difficult to Obtain for Prescribed Users

The Drug Enforcement Agency is tightening restrictions on oxycodone, making it more difficult for prescribed patients to obtain refills for their prescriptions.


Local Student Develops Epilepsy App, Wins $75,000

Amir Helmy’s science fair project idea has since developed into Seizario, an app that will allow epilepsy patients to monitor their seizures using the sensors from smartphones.


The University of Florida Student Health Care Center is offering free flu vaccinations for university students with a student ID.

Florida’s Fight Against Flu More Forceful This Season

More than 27 Florida counties are participating in a campaign to help fight influenza this season by giving free inhaled flu vaccines to students enrolled in elementary through high school. The campaign is being promoted by Healthy Schools LLC and Families Fighting Flu.


Ebola Preparation

Gainesville Officials Educated on Ebola Safety Procedures

Gainesville officials reassure residents of their knowledge of safety procedures taken in the case of a local Ebola case. Experts said residents shouldn’t worry about the spread of the infectious disease in Gainesville.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments