Contraception: The options for pediatric patients

Various contraception options for pediatric patients are available, and certain patients may be referred to Norton Children’s Gynecology.

When it’s time to start talking about sexual behaviors and birth control with adolescent and teenage patients, keep in mind the services available at Norton Children’s Gynecology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. Providers at the practice see adolescents, teens and young adults up to age 21.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pediatricians should start discussing sexual behaviors, birth control and prevention of sexually transmitted infection (STI) at the 11-year-old checkup. Various contraception options for pediatric patients are available.

Patients may be referred to Norton Children’s Gynecology if they have certain symptoms or conditions, or if they would be good candidates for certain contraceptive methods.

Contraception: Options for pediatric patients

Norton Children’s Gynecology specializes in long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) procedures in teenagers, which include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and subdermal implants, such as Nexplanon.

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When it comes to preventing pregnancy, LARCs are the most effective form of birth control. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, less than 1% of LARC patients become pregnant during the first year. LARCs also can help patients who present with heavy or painful periods.

“We also are trained to manage complex contraception, which includes medically complex patients, such as those with bleeding disorders, cardiac conditions or anatomic anomalies,” said Yuan Yuan “Jackie” Gong, M.D., pediatric gynecologist with Norton Children’s Gynecology.

Norton Children’s Gynecology also specializes in noncontraceptive uses of birth control, including treatment for heavy periods, cramping and irregular periods.

Long-acting contraceptive options:

  • IUDs (99.5% effective)
  • Subdermal implants (99.95% effective)

Short-acting contraceptive options:

  • Oral contraceptive pills (91% effective)
  • Vaginal ring (91% effective)
  • Transdermal contraceptive patch (91% effective)
  • Progestin injection (94% effective)

It is important to discuss the risk of STI with all patients of appropriate age, as none of the aforementioned contraception methods can prevent the spread of STIs.


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