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Adolescent and Young Adult Health
May 2016

Involving Parents in Pediatric Patients’ Decisions About Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

Author Affiliations
  • 1Adolescent Medicine Section, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
  • 2Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 3Group Health, Seattle, Washington
  • 4Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Seattle, Washington
  • 5Division of Bioethics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(5):409-410. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.3152

Long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) devices, including intrauterine devices and subdermal contraceptive implants, are safe and effective methods that have great potential to reduce teenage pregnancy in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the use of LARC devices in young, nulliparous women, and there is growing interest among pediatric trainees to offer these methods.1,2 Studies have shown that when barriers to access and cost are removed, the majority of adolescents seeking contraception will choose a LARC method.3 Use of LARC devices is gradually increasing among adolescents in the United States: 7% of adolescents using contraceptives have chosen LARC devices, with rates in some states as high as 20%.4 As more adolescents gain access to and display interest in these contraceptive methods, their pediatric health care professionals face new questions. How do health care professionals involve parents in a teenager’s decision to initiate a LARC method, and how do we navigate circumstances when a teenager does not want her parents involved?

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