Every year in the United States, roughly 750,000 teenagers become pregnant, and the majority of these pregnancies aren’t planned. In order for birth control to be effective, teenagers need options that they can easily use. Teens are more likely to keep on utilizing longer-acting contraceptive methods, such as IUD birth control or Nexplanon. Those teens who are sexually active and use birth control typically report inconsistent usage.
This has led the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to consider whether it is beneficial to prescribe IUD birth control or Nexplanon for teenagers.
Regrettably, surveys of teenagers in the USA show that teens know very little information about IUDs. One survey of 72 girls between the ages of 14 to 18 revealed that although 74 percent were using birth control, only 19 percent had heard of IUDs. After being educated on IUD birth control, many adolescents said that they liked that IUD use:
- Failed to harm later fertility
- Require daily use
- Wasn’t needed with every sex act
- Was discreet
Teenagers have to get educated about the high potency of long-acting reversible contraceptive techniques such as IUD birth control, in addition to Nexplanon.
What Doctors Are Suggesting
ACOG has just revised its Practice Bulletin to tackle the demand for long-acting reversible contraceptive techniques for teenagers.
According to ACOG, Nexplanon and IUD birth control usage can be useful for teens. Though these practice guidelines are fresh, the true practice of inserting IUDs and Nexplanon in teenagers is not. Many teenagers have been supplied with these birth control options, so the practice guidelines have finally caught up to what the medical community has been performing for years.
IUD Birth Control Use in Teenagers
ParaGard, Skyla, Kyleena, and Mirena—these IUDs are classified under Category 2 of the U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use. This usually means that the benefits of using these contraceptive techniques generally outweigh the risks. IUD use has obtained a 2 classification because of some concern within the risk for expulsion (when the IUD partially or completely slides out of the uterus), which may be brought on by nulliparity (never having given birth), in addition to STI risk from the unprotected sexual behaviour typical in younger age groups. The usage of Nexplanon in teenagers has obtained a classification of Category 1—this means there is no limitation for the use of the birth control method.
What the Research Says
Unfortunately, there’s very little literature about Nexplanon or IUD birth control use in the adolescent population, therefore more research is required for greater, more detailed outcomes. That being said, some studies don’t exist, and their outcomes are promising.
An in-depth review looking into IUD use in teenagers found that expulsion rates ranged broadly —from 5 per cent to 22 percent. These rates could be somewhat misleading since the prices seem to be affected by your age and whether you have ever been pregnant.
Plus, the available study shows inconsistent results. By way of example, some studies reveal that girls who have never given birth have significantly more cases of IUD expulsion, while other studies indicate that individuals who have granted birth report greater degrees of expulsion. None of these studies considered the way the mixture of age and pregnancy background could have influenced the results.
Teens are also more likely to continue with IUD birth control usage than with other methods. The amount of teenagers who are still using the IUD at 1 year is high (ranging from 48% to 88 percent), and their IUD usage slightly decreased over time.
Teenagers continue their IUD use in precisely the same rate or even longer than teens using birth control tablets.
Pregnancies were uncommon among adolescent IUD birth control consumers. 1 study comparing adolescent pregnancy rates found that (after 24 weeks of continuous use), teenagers utilizing the copper IUD (ParaGard) had reported no pregnancies, while three percent of adolescent birth control pill consumers became pregnant. Still another study found that adolescent pregnancy rates rose from two percent after six months of IUD use to 11 percent at 48 weeks of being on the IUD.
One final concern that study has revealed about IUD birth control use in teens is pain. Various studies have revealed that painful or difficult IUD insertion is a major concern for teenagers. This might be because the adolescent has never given birth before. There are actions that physicians can choose to help alleviate a number of the pain, but these approaches have not been demonstrated to consistently provide pain relief through an IUD insertion. Newer IUDs Iike Skyla and Kyleena have smaller insertion tubes, so insertion pain may be less with these options.Research has also shown that bleeding and pain are frequent reasons for teens to get their ParaGard IUD removed. 1 study highlighted how more teenage IUD users complained of bleeding problems than did teenage pill users.
Research on Teenage Nexplanon Use is More Sparse
In 2010, a study was conducted on 137 teenagers (ages 12–18 years old) who’d just given birth. It compared tolerance, continuation, and repeat pregnancy rates in teens who employed Implanon, mix birth control pills, Depo Provera, barrier methods (like condoms and spermicide), or nothing.
By 24 months, 35 percent of these teenagers had become pregnant . Teenage Nexplanon users became pregnant later on than the other birth control groups (with first replicate pregnancy at 23.8 months, compared to 18.1 months for the pill/depo group and 17.6 months for barrier/none group). Implanon users were also more inclined to keep on using Implanon in 24 months compared to adolescent pill/depo users.
Of those adolescents who had Nexplanon removed before 24 weeks of usage, 40 percent stated that abnormal bleeding was their reason for stopping. That being said, the researchers concluded that teenagers who decide to use Nexplanon are significantly less likely to become pregnant and have been discovered to stay with this birth control method more than those who chose the other contraceptive methods.
Even though the literature on Nexplanon and IUD birth control for teens is greatly lacking, available studies do suggest that IUDs like Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena, and ParaGard, as well as Nexplanon, are sensible options for today’s teens. Encouraging adolescent usage of long-acting reversible birth control methods could help reduce the amount of unplanned teenage pregnancies. The large number of teens who stick to their Nexplanon and IUD usage is promising, and teens are more likely to be compliant with these birth control methods.
The practice guidelines made by ACOG suggest that IUDs and Nexplanon ought to be suggested to teenagers as possible birth control options. The benefits and advantages of ParaGard, Mirena, Skyla, and/or Kyleena in teens typically offset the potential risks, and there are no limits on the usage of Nexplanon in teenagers. Because of this, it appears that these are effective and dependable birth control options which should be offered to teenagers who are seeking contraception at family planning clinics or local doctor’s offices.