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New Generation Birth Control for Teens

Jul 05, 2023
Adolescent Teen Girl

Are you curious about what birth control methods are safe and effective in adolescents? Most people have heard about the pill, but did you know that intrauterine devices (IUDs), implants, patches and more can be used by adolescents too? Here, we highlight some new and reliable contraceptive methods:

Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

Certain types of hormonal IUDs may now be kept in place longer – up to eight years. These are low-maintenance and one of the most effective birth control options available. IUDs are safe birth control options for teens and young adults, even if they’ve never had a baby before. They can even help with heavy periods. Some young women stop having a period all together while using an IUD.

New Pills with Progestin-only

A second-generation progestin-only pill is now available. This new medication is similar to the minipill, but it’s more forgiving. The original progestin-only pills required that you use a back-up or second form of birth control if you missed the pill by three hours or more. With this new generation medication, it’s still effective if taken up to 24 hours late, providing more flexibility for teens on the go.

At-home Subcutaneous Injection

Does your teen like their injectable birth control, but hate coming into the office every 12 weeks? An injectable birth control that can be given at home by the adolescent or an adult is currently on the market. The dose of hormone is slightly less than that in traditional injections given in the office. Learning to give the injection is simple and can increase access to birth control!

Yearly Ring

There’s a new birth control ring that can be used for up to one year. The ring goes in the vagina for three weeks and is removed for one week, then you repeat the cycle using the same ring. You wash the ring each month and store it in a case when it’s not being used. This yearly ring provides an option for long-lasting pregnancy protection that teens control on their own.

Vaginal Gel

A hormone-free vaginal gel is available by prescription. This gel is used before you have sex and prevents pregnancy by changing the way sperm moves. It’s on-demand birth control—use it only when you need to. It begins working immediately and may be used with many other methods including condoms.

Want to hear more about these and other options for birth control, including recent developments like a birth control ring that lasts one year and a prescription vaginal gel? The Young Women’s Contraceptive Services Program (BC4Teens) specializes in birth control for adolescents and young adults. The providers are knowledgeable and remain up to date on the latest available methods for teens. Click here to schedule an appointment in the BC4Teens.

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Ashley Ebersole, MD
Adolescent Medicine

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700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.