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?
- Works the same way hormonal birth control does.
- Hormones work by preventing ovulation and follicles that release eggs
- Side effects: heavy period, nausea or vomiting (less common)
- Take within 72-to-120 hours of unprotected intercourse.
- Works best when taken within one day of sex
What teens and parents need to know
- Majority of teens are sexually active by end of high school
- Emergency contraception is1 strategy to prevent pregnancy
- Works best in first 24 hours, but is indicated for 5 days after sex
- No protection from sexually transmitted diseases or infections