“We must do more to keep teens healthy.

And that begins with better instruction for those who care for adolescents and improving teens' access to comprehensive reproductive health care.”

Michelle Staples-Horne, MD, MPH

Teen Reproductive Health

As physicians, we believe that all people--regardless of their age--should have the knowledge, equal access to quality services, and freedom to make their own reproductive health care decisions.

Related Posts:

Announcing the Newest Edition of Our Adolescent Health Curriculum

ARSHEPThe fifth edition of the Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Program (ARSHEP) curriculum is now available! ARSHEP is our nationwide educational initiative aimed at teaching physicians more about adolescent reproductive and sexual health. In 2014 alone, members of the 45-person ARSHEP faculty delivered nearly 100 interactive lectures and workshops to over 10,000 health care professionals across the country.

The latest curriculum consists of 20 modules—including three all-new topics—that offer comprehensive, evidence-based information about adolescent reproductive and sexual health care. Topics include long-acting reversible contraception; STI testing and treatment; caring for pregnant and parenting adolescents; pregnancy options counseling; caring for LGBTQ adolescents; emergency contraception; and physicians as advocates for adolescent reproductive health.

The ARSHEP curriculum is available free of charge: Order the entire curriculum on a flash drive, which includes PowerPoint presentations, handouts, and standardized patient videos. Simply email meded@prh.org today. Or, you can download individual modules from our website.

If you are a health care professional who works with adolescents or educates other clinicians, we hope you’ll find the fifth edition of the ARSHEP curriculum a tremendous resource. 

LARC Awareness Week: For Teens, a Smart Birth Control Option

Kathleen Morrell MDLARC Awareness Week is November 16–22, 2014. Our Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow Dr. Kathleen Morrell discusses why long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) are a great option for teens.

Over the summer, two sisters who were heading off to college came to my clinic. These two bright, talented, and determined young women were determined to get as much as they could out of the next four years. And they’re counting on their athletic scholarships for their college careers. They don’t want unintended pregnancy to stand in the way of their dreams. This is why they both requested intrauterine devices (IUDs) that day.

I see a lot of young women in my office for the same reason. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), like IUDs and the implant, are a great option for teens who don’t want to worry about pregnancy. LARCs are the most effective reversible birth control methods we have, and as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology have noted, they are appropriate for teens.

IUDs are the most popular method of birth control used by family planning practitioners, which speaks to their safety and efficacy. Most women are excellent IUD candidates, regardless of age or whether they’ve had children or not. And depending on what IUD option they choose, they don’t need to worry about birth control for three, five, or ten years.

Despite all this, there is still a great deal of misinformation out there about IUDs in particular. Sometimes a patient will say that she’s interested in getting an IUD but that a friend told her that they were dangerous, or that she heard only women who have had kids can use them. I always explain what I know to be true: IUDs are safe and effective and appropriate for women of all ages.

The implant (Nexplanon®) is also popular with my younger patients. In one large contraceptive study, over 40% of those under 18 chose the implant. Smaller than a matchstick, it is discreet and hidden under the skin of the inner arm. It is an easy two-minute insertion that feels like getting a shot and doesn’t require a pelvic exam. It has the lowest failure rate of any form of contraception — 0.05% — and works for three years.

I want all my teen patients to leave my office with the birth control method that is right for them, which is why we discuss all the options available. If you are a health care practitioner looking to learn more about LARC and teens, here are some great resources:

Fall 2014 Newsletter: Physicians on the Ground and in the Classroom

2015 LTA DCcrop In our Fall 2014 Newsletter, we discuss ballot initiative results, welcome Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Program (ARSHEP) faculty members, and celebrate our Leadership Training Academy. Read more >>

New! Updated Educational Modules Available

ARSHEPTwo updated Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Program (ARSHEP) modules are now available for download: Caring for Transgender Adolescents, which explores gender identity and the experience of transgender adolescents and serves as a tool for clinicians to provide primary care for transgender patients and understand their sexual and reproductive health needs; and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth, which discusses the way that homophobia affects health outcomes for LGBTQ youth and how providers can develop comprehensive services to fulfill the needs of these special populations. ARSHEP prepares a select group of physicians to give free educational sessions to other providers about the best practices for adolescent reproductive and sexual health. Read more about our innovative curriculum and learn how to request a free CD-ROM and/or a free presentation.