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Keywords

Adolescents, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, NuvaRing

 

Authors

  1. Kartoz, Connie R. MS, RN, APRN, BC

ABSTRACT

Teenage pregnancy rates remain unacceptably high in the United States, despite the availability of numerous contraceptive options. This article examines contraceptive methods currently available to adolescents and highlights newer products that may help meet some of the unique contraceptive needs of sexually active teens. The three newest agents (OrthoEvra(TM), NuvaRing(TM), and Seasonale) offer advantages such as higher contraceptive efficacy, increased privacy, ease of use, and low side effect profiles. A major advantage of each of these methods is that they eliminate the need for the teen to take daily action to prevent pregnancy. Nurses can be instrumental in helping teens to avoid unwanted pregnancy by assessing teens' contraceptive needs and educating them about contraceptive options. However, it is important to remember that because none of these new methods offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases, we should continue to educate adolescents about the need for condom use and provide them with instructions on using condoms correctly.