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The American Academy of Pediatrics recently recommended that its members provide emergency contraception to teens who want it to prevent unwanted pregnancy. KING5's Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at the Everett Clinic and known online as Seattle Mama Doc has more information on the topic.

Unintended pregnancy in the U.S.

  • 80% of pregnancies in teens are unintended
  • 34 out of 1000 teens (15-19 yrs) have unintended pregnancy
  • Teen pregnancy is declining (abstinence & birth control)
  • 13% of 15 year-olds have had sex
  • 70% of 19 year-olds have had sex

How does emergency contraception work?

  1. Works the same way hormonal birth control does.
  2. Hormones work by preventing ovulation and follicles that release eggs
  3. Side effects: heavy period, nausea or vomiting (less common)
  4. Take within 72-to-120 hours of unprotected intercourse.
  5. Works best when taken within one day of sex

What teens and parents need to know

  1. Majority of teens are sexually active by end of high school
  2. Emergency contraception is1 strategy to prevent pregnancy
  3. Works best in first 24 hours, but is indicated for 5 days after sex
  4. No protection from sexually transmitted diseases or infections

Related links

More about Dr. Swanson:Facebook | Twitter:@ | Read Her Blog

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