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.
Let's Talk About Sexual
Video for doctors and young adults on how to talk about sexual health.
Commentary: Teen Pregnancy and Reproductive Health
From CDC Expert Commentary, Teen Pregnancy and Reproductive Health, Wanda D. Barfield, MD, MPH.
— 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
(some sections are available to members only)
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.
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.