Speed Reads


The Pill isn't the best form of birth control for teen girls

The American Academy of Pediatrics has new guidelines for the best birth control to give teenage girls, and coming in first is an implantable rod that releases hormones and can prevent pregnancy for up to three years.

Since pediatricians often see their patients well into their teen years and early 20s, "adolescents consider pediatricians and other health care providers a highly trusted source of sexual health information," the guidance reads. While the academy is quick to remind people that "abstinence is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and is an important part of contraceptive counseling," there are certain birth control methods that should be recommended before others.

Single-rod progestin implants, like Implanon and Nexplanon, are first, followed by intrauterine devices (IUDs). Progestin-only injectable contraception, or Depo-Provera, must be given every 13 to 15 weeks, and is third. Combined oral contraceptives, commonly referred to as the Pill, comes in fourth because young women do not always remember to take their pills every day. Babysitting, which has long served as a free form of birth control, isn't on the list.