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Counseling Adolescents About Contraception: Resource Overview

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has identified the following resources that may be helpful for ob-gyns, other health care providers and patients on topics related to counseling adolescents about contraception.

These materials are for information purposes only and are not meant to be comprehensive. Referral to these resources does not imply ACOG's endorsement of the organization, the organization’s website, or the content of the resource. The resources may change without notice.

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Resources for Ob-Gyns and Women’s Health Care Providers
Resources for Women and Patients
External Resources

Resources for Ob-Gyns and Women’s Health Care Providers

Committee Opinion: Counseling Adolescents About Contraception

This committee opinion, issued by ACOG in August 2017, discusses key aspects of providing effective counseling of contraceptive options, including addressing common misconceptions about methods, the provision of emergency contraception, confidentiality, and awareness of the potential for bias and/or coercion. 

Committee Opinion: Adolescents and Long-Acting Reversible Contraception: Implants and Intrauterine Devices 

This committee opinion, issued by ACOG in October 2012, recommends the use of IUDs and the contraceptive implant as safe and appropriate contraceptive methods for most women and adolescents. Adolescents are at high risk of unintended pregnancy and may benefit from increased access to these methods.

Committee Opinion: Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate and Bone Effects

This committee opinion, issued by ACOG in June 2014, addresses the association between the use of the contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and the loss of bone mineral density. It emphasizes that these effects should not discourage clinicians from prescribing DMPA, and provides recommendations for counseling patients.

How I Practice Video Series: Contraception

This video, issued by ACOG in July 2012, is part of  the How I Practice series  and features Eve Espey, MD, FACOG, who describes her clinical approach. She discusses birth control with women of childbearing age at every opportunity and recommends effective methods, especially LARC.


Resources for Women and Patients

Patient FAQ: Birth Control—Especially for Teens

This FAQ, issued by ACOG in May 2017, provides adolescents with key information needed to choose the right birth control method. Factors to consider include each contraceptive method’s effectiveness in preventing pregnancy, ease of use, whether it requires a prescription, whether it protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and whether the patient has any health problems.

Patient FAQ: Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC): IUD and Implant

This FAQ, issued by ACOG in May 2016, explains that LARC methods, including the IUD and the implant, are highly effective in preventing pregnancy, last for several years, and are easy to use. Both methods are reversible, . and can be removed at any time if a woman wants to become pregnant or stop using them.   

Patient FAQ: Combined Hormonal Birth Control: Pill, Patch, and Ring

This FAQ, issued by ACOG in July 2014, explains that combined hormonal birth control methods (birth control pills/oral contraceptives, the birth control patch, and the vaginal ring) contain two hormones, estrogen and progestin. They prevent pregnancy mainly by preventing ovulation, and may also be prescribed to treat medical conditions such as fibroids and endometriosis. 

Patient FAQ: Progestin-Only Hormonal Birth Control: Pill and Injection

This FAQ, issued by ACOG in July 2014, explains that progestin, a hormone that plays a role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, can be used by itself for contraception. It can be taken as a pill or an injection (medroxyprogesterone acetate). 

Patient FAQ: Barrier Methods of Birth Control: Diaphragm, Sponge, Cervical Cap, and Condom

This FAQ, issued by ACOG in May 2016, explains the risks and benefits of barrier methods of birth control, including the diaphragm, sponge, cervical cap, male condom, female condom, and spermicide. 

Patient FAQ: Emergency Contraception

This FAQ, issued by ACOG in October 2015, explains that emergency contraception is the use of certain methods to prevent pregnancy after a woman has had sex without birth control, if her current method fails, or if she is raped. There are two forms of emergency contraception: pills and the copper IUD. There are three types of emergency contraception pills: progestin-only, combination pills, and ulipristal.

Patient FAQ: You and Your Sexuality - Especially for Teens

This FAQ, issued by ACOG in August 2015, explains physical and emotional changes adolescents may experience, how to deal with sexual feelings, forms of sexual expression, and making decisions about sex. It also provides information on intimate partner violence and rape. 


External Resources

Bedsider 

Bedsider is a free birth control support network for women ages 18–29. The network is operated by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, and provides an interactive birth control method explorer. 

The Choice Project 

The Choice Project provides  publications, research findings, and dissemination efforts related to this St. Louis-based research project aimed at reducing financial barriers to contraception, promoting the most effective methods of birth control, and reducing unintended pregnancy. 

Stay Teen 

Stay Teen is an adolescent-oriented resource developed by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which encourages teens to enjoy their adolescent years and avoid the responsibilities that come with early pregnancy and parenting. The site provides educational resources about issues like relationships, waiting to have sex, and contraception.

TeenSource 

Launched in 2001 as an online hub for teen-friendly sexual and reproductive health information, TeenSource features accurate and reliable information about sexually transmitted infections , birth control, and healthy relationships. The site also features youth-generated blogs and videos.

The Guttmacher Institute 

The Guttmacher Institute monitors and analyzes legislation, regulation and judicial action related to state policy developments on minors’ access to reproductive health care and sex education. This effort is used to prepare monthly updates on new policy developments and the status of state laws and policies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

The CDC, a component of the US Department of Health and Human Services, has an informative section of their website dedicated to contraceptive guidance for health care providers. 

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