Teen birth rates in the United States have declined to the lowest rates seen in seven decades, yet still rank highest among developed countries. Contributing to this decline are increases in the proportion of teens who have never had sex, combined with increases in contraceptive use among sexually active teens.1,2 As a health care provider, you play a critical role in further reducing teen pregnancy rates through the care you provide to your adolescent patients.
Teens need regular health care services to receive comprehensive sexual and reproductive health counseling about the importance of delaying the initiation of sexual activity and about their contraceptive options. They need counseling on which method would be best for them, and on how to use that method correctly and consistently. Parents and guardians also need guidance and information to help them talk with their teens about sex, pregnancy, and contraception.
Counseling, screening, and treating of STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and human papilloma virus are a critical part of adolescent reproductive health visits. Read more to get updated STD screening and treatment guidelines.
How Can Doctors Help in the Prevention of Teen
CDC is at the forefront of preventing unwanted teen pregnancy and dramatic declines have been documented throughout the past two decades. Dr. Denise Jamieson discusses how healthcare professionals can help further reduce teen pregnancy rates.
Let's Talk About Sexual Health
Video for doctors and young adults on how to talk about sexual health.
Medscape Commentary: Teen Pregnancy and Reproductive
From CDC Expert Commentary, Teen Pregnancy and Reproductive Health, Wanda D. Barfield, MD, MPH.
CDC TV — A
Message to Health Care Professionals: Teen Pregnancy
The video features teens who speak out about how decreasing unintended pregnancy rates in the United States are still too high as every day over a thousand babies are born to teen mothers.
CDC Director Dr. Frieden discusses Teen Pregnancy on
Three Winnable Battles and Other Wars: A Talk With Thomas Frieden. Interview with Eli Y. Adashi, MD and Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH.
Pregnancy Social Media Tool Kit
Take advantage of social media tools with credible, science-based teen pregnancy prevention messages from the CDC. These free, easy-to-use communication tools can help expand the reach of your health messages and promote your teen pregnancy prevention efforts.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Adolescent Health Care
(some sections are available to members only)
Get Yourself Tested (GYT) Campaign’s Clinic Tools and
With a focus on STDs, the GYT Web site offers resources to help providers better serve your teen and young adult patients. Here you will find resources for talking with patients about sexual history, training resources, materials for your clinic, and information on billing for confidential services. You also will find teen-friendly office tips, and information on dealing with consent and confidentiality issues that are so important to adolescent patients.
for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexual experience and
contraceptive use among female teens—United States, 1995, 2002, and
Source: MMWR. 2012;61:297-301.
2 Santelli JS, Lindberg LD, Finer LB, Singh S. Explaining recent declines in adolescent pregnancy in the United States: the contribution of abstinence and improved contraceptive use. Am J Public Health. 2007;97:150-156.