Entries in Teenage Pregnancy (4)


CDC: Many Teen Girls Unaware of How Easily They Can Get Pregnant

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Many adolescent girls are confused about how easy it is to become pregnant, especially when contraceptives aren't used, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Data taken from the 2004 to 2008 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System of females between 15 and 19 years old found that one in two teens who had an unwanted pregnancy reported that neither they nor their partner used birth control.

In the group that dispensed with contraceptives, a third of girls claimed that they didn't think they could pregnant at that time, 23 percent said their partner refused to use birth control and about the same number had no problem with getting pregnant.


Contraceptive use also didn't prevent teens from becoming pregnant, with 45 percent using either high effective or moderately effective birth control methods while five percent depended solely on the rhythm method.

The CDC says more needs to be done to educate teens about pregnancy and how to prevent it.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Safe Medicine? More, Younger Girls Starting on Birth Control

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The number of teenage girls on the birth control pill has jumped 50 percent in the past decade in the U.S. alone, according to a study released this March by Thomson Reuters.

Today, one in five American girls between the ages of 13 and 18 -- two-and-a-half million teens in all -- are on the birth control, the study found, and doctors say the age at which teens start on the pill is getting younger and younger.

"We have put people on the pill who are as young as 12," Dr. Mary Rosser, a gynecologist in Larchmont, New York who treats adolescents, told ABC's Good Morning America.

Rosser attributes the growth of birth control use among teens to the increasingly young age at which girls begin to menstruate, some as young as age 10, and the rising number of sexually active teens.

"Almost half of teenagers ages 15 to 19 report they have had sexual intercourse at least once," Rosser said.

Rosser says most parents come to doctors, seeking birth control prescriptions for their daughters, in order to treat their teens' acne, regulate menstrual periods, and to prevent teen pregnancy.

"I think it's okay to have their teenager on the pill if they are ready to go on it and they ask for it," Rosser said of the approach she takes with her own patients.  "I think it's safer than having a teen pregnancy."

While Rosser takes a proactive approach towards birth control for teens, the rising popularity of the drug does not come without controversy.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology asserts the pill is safe, but acknowledges it is associated with a heightened risk for blood clots.

Several studies in recent years have also suggested a possible link between the pill and breast cancer, with organizations like the World Health Organization even calling the pill a carcinogenic.

"I've found that some women who've been on birth control pills for a while have trouble conceiving," Dr. Erika Schultz, a New York City-based internist who specializes in women and hormone issues, told Good Morning America.

Schultz said she believes the pill can do more harm than good, and worries that doctors are overprescribing the pill to a generation of teens seduced by glossy ads put forth by an oral contraceptive industry that generates sales of $4 billion per year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rate of Teenage Births at 70-Year Low

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Teenage girls in the U.S. gave birth to babies in 2009 at the lowest rate seen in seven decades.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that there were 39.1 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19 last year.  That figure represents a six percent drop from 2008.

CDC statistician Brady Hamilton, who co-authored the report, said the decline puts teen births at a record low.  One physician not affiliated with the study said that's due to a drop in vaginal intercourse and increased use of effective contraception.

In other developments, the number of overall births fell to around 4,130,000 in 2009, compared to 4,248,000 the year before.  Hamilton says possible factors for that drop include both the weak economy and women postponing having babies until their 30s or 40s.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


South Leads Nation in Teen Pregnancy

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As many as one in 17 babies born in the South are born to teenage mothers, according to new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics released a state-by-state comparison of teenage birth rates Wednesday that shows trends in teen moms up to 2008. While the teenage birth rate overall saw a 2.4 percent decline, large disparities in the prevalence of teen moms still exist from state to state, with the southern states reporting the highest rates.

"Teenage birth rates are higher in the South, which we've seen in the past, though among non-Hispanic blacks, five of the ten states with the highest rates are actually in the upper Midwest, with Wisconsin having the highest rate," says T.J. Mathews, demographer and co-author on the report.

When comparing teen birth rates by state, the 10 states with the highest number of teen moms were almost all southern states: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Nevada.

While rates remain highest in the South, these states did not see a significant increase from 2007 to 2008. Fourteen states overall saw a significant decrease in their teen birth rates, with only Montana and Kansas showing a significant increase, Mathews says.

Despite an overall decline in teenage births since 1991 -- with one spike from 2005 to 2007 -- U.S. teen birth rates still remain substantially higher than those in other Western countries, the authors say in the report.

"Variations in teenage birth rates reflect differences in many factors, including differences in socioeconomic factors such as education and income, risk behaviors such as sexual activity and contraceptive use, and attitudes among teenagers toward pregnancy and childbearing," authors write.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio