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Give Teens Access to Emergency Contraception, Pediatricians Say
Date:11/26/2012

ctors only see teens when they are sick or injured, and they should take that opportunity to bring up subjects like emergency contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

"I think [the policy statement] will bring awareness to pediatricians and hopefully give guidance to what is accepted," said Reed, who was not involved in writing the statement.

School nurses and health clinics also can play an important role in educating teens about emergency contraception, Breuner said.

Studies have found that as few as half of teens know about emergency contraception, and among those who are aware, only half know the correct timing for taking it, according to the policy statement.

"If we are going to do anything about reducing our teen pregnancy rate and make it not the highest in the developed world, we need to provide more education to family and children," Breuner said.

Although there are no studies showing that improving access to emergency contraception reduces pregnancies in the general population, Breuner thinks this is because not enough women have been using it to see a difference.

More information

To learn more about teen pregnancy and contraception, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Cora Breuner, M.D., M.P.H., professor, pediatrics and adolescent medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle; Jennifer Reed, M.D., associate professor, pediatrics, division of emergency medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati; December 2012, Pediatrics


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