Increase in Use of Morning-After Pill Among Teens, Decrease in Teen Pregnancy

A report conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that 1 in 5 sexually active teenage girls have used the morning-after pill. 10 years ago, 1 in 12 sexually active teenage girls had used the morning-after pill.

The report from the CDC was conducted from 2011 to 2013 and is based on surveys from 2,225 teenagers between the ages of 15-19. When used within the first 72 hours, the morning-after pill reduces the likelihood of pregnancy after unprotected sex by 90%

Teen Birth Rates Down

There are 61 million U.S. women in their childbearing years at risk of unplanned pregnancy. The risk is greatest among 15-19 year olds (18%). In the late 80’s teenage pregnancy rates were 96 in 1,000. Teenage pregnancy is now down to 27 in 1,000.

Morning-After Pill Available Over-the-Counter

In 2006 the morning-after pill became available without a prescription to those 18 and over. In 2013 the age restriction was lifted. The morning-after pill typically costs $35 to $50.

According to the Guttmacher Institute the risk of teen pregnancy is twice as high for those who do not use a contraceptive method during their first time. Teen pregnancy is often coupled with a series of negative consequences including less financial stability and an inability to finish high school.

Accessible Birth Control

Increased accessibility to birth control in addition to proper sexual education and understanding the risks of STDs is responsible for the decline in overall teenage pregnancy. Condoms have remained the preferred method of birth control among teens. There has been no change in sales in regard to birth control pulls over the last few years.

According to the Guttmacher Institute of the 3.2 million teenage women who use birth control, “53% use the pill, 16% use other hormonal methods, including the implant, injectable, patch and ring, and 3% use an IUD.”

Increase in Use of Morning-After Pill Among Teens, Decrease in Teen Pregnancy - Clapway

Plan B

Plan B One Step is an emergency contraceptive pill that contains a higher dose of levonorgestrel, which is also found in most birth control pills. Plan B prevents pregnancy by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. Plan B does not disturb existing pregnancies.

What are your thoughts on this correlation between morning-after pill accessibility and unplanned teen pregnancies. Comment below.


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