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Committee Opinion No. 710 Summary: Counseling Adolescents About Contraception

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doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002228
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Recommendations and Conclusions

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) makes the following recommendations and conclusions:

  • Regardless of a patient’s age or previous sexual activity, the obstetrician–gynecologist routinely should address her contraceptive needs, expectations, and concerns.
  • Statutes on the rights of minors to consent to health care services vary by state, and obstetrician–gynecologists should be familiar with the regulations that apply to their practice.
  • Emergency contraception routinely should be included in discussions about contraception, including access issues. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that obstetrician–gynecologists write advance prescriptions for oral emergency contraception for their patients.
  • Long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods have higher efficacy, higher continuation rates, and higher satisfaction rates compared with short-acting contraceptives. Because LARC methods are safe, they are excellent contraceptive choices for adolescents.
  • Discussions about contraception should begin with information on the most effective methods first.
  • Obstetrician–gynecologists should be aware of and be prepared to address the most common misperceptions about contraceptive methods in a way that is age appropriate and compatible with the patient’s health literacy.
  • The initial encounter and follow-up visits should include continual reassessment of sexual concerns, behavior, relationships, prevention strategies, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines.

© 2017 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.