According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, the most reliable form of contraception for teenage girls are intrauterine devices.
Thursday, they have stated that the doctors should recommend IUDs as the first method of contraception to young girls so that they can avoid “personal, health care and social costs” that come with unintended pregnancies.
The intrauterine devices are small, shaped like a T, and it is placed inside the uterus by a health care provider. It remains inside and is effective for years. An IUD can be removed any time, only by a health care provider. AN IUD works by thickening the cervical mucus, not allowing the sperm to reach the egg. The deterrent is copper or a synthetic hormone.
IUDs Are Over 99% Effective in Preventing Unwanted Pregnancy
The Canadian Paediatric Society stated that IUDs are 99% effective, preventing unwanted pregnancies. Next in line, are oral contraceptive pills – 91% and condoms 82% effective if properly used.
The first time when The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists promoted IUDs as the best way to control pregnancies was in 2012. Dr. Giuseppina Di Meglio is one of the authors of the CPS position statement and also an adolescent medicine specialist at The Montreal Children’s Hospital. She adds that:
“We’d like to see more ease with recommending the use of IUDs.”
She explains that doctors should recommend these devices, as they are more effective. However, she understands that IUDs cost a lot, posing a financial barrier for many teens. A copper IUD is almost $100, and a hormonal one is a lot more expensive.
Teenagers either don’t have insurance coverage or are reluctant in talking to their parents about getting an IUS.
Dr. Di Meglio said that some types of IUDs could be accessed for free in different parts of Canada, but the availability is inconsistent. She explains why this has to change:
“As a society we need to be thinking about covering contraceptives for teens.”
She also added that health care providers should also discuss contraceptives and sexual health with boys and young men, as the girls are not the only ones responsible for birth control. The CPS added that youth should get counsel on using condoms every time they have sex to avoid STIs, even if they use other forms of birth control.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.