Gynecologists Say IUDs Better for Teens, Encouraging Teen Sex?

Gynecologists Say IUDs Better for Teens, Encouraging Teen Sex? Picture

Teenagers have always been interested in sex. Birth control made it slightly easier and safer for teens to explore this adult act; and the responsibility of remembering to take a daily pill or using a condom requires teens to keep some intellectual reasoning intact when those urges strike. Now however, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is recommending IUDs or hormonal implants for teenage girls, because it’s a “long-lasting and more effective birth control that you don’t have to remember to use every time.”

If you are worried that this might stunt your daughter’s fertility, the gynecological group assures us that “IUDs and implants can be removed at any time with no lasting effect on fertility.”

Birth control pills have to be taken at the “very same time every day” in order to work effectively. And because IUDs can “prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years,” and implants can last about 3 years, many are saying that encouraging teens to use these methods will help lower the number of teen pregnancies.

This article states, “While it may sound surprising that such invasive contraceptives are being endorsed for teenagers, 43 percent of girls ages 15 to 19 have had sex, a government survey found.” It also stated, “In 21 states, all teenagers can get contraceptive without parental permission.”

The research director for women’s health at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland mentions the various reactions she receives from her young patients, saying, “Some of them say, ‘Great! Something that I don’t have to think about.’ Others are, like, ‘Hmmm, something in my body?’ It really varies.”

Something I Don’t Have to Think About!!!!!

Now, that’s a reaction from a young lady who is ready to have sex! So, I should endorse this because teenagers shouldn’t need to worry about what is actually happening during sex? Are they too young to worry about the consequences of sex, but not too young to have sex?

Often, my parenting philosophies split into multiple personalities. For example, one half of my inner smarts is saying that this can prevent a teenage pregnancy (which is a good thing!!); and I must remember that, even if I teach my daughter to wait until she is older, she may still choose to have sex – and I want to keep the lines of communication open, so that she will always comes to me if she makes that decision – I should be there for her, no matter what. And, the other half of my inner smarts says, “What the flip? Why would we take away their accountability??”

What exactly are we teaching our children?

As parents, we should encourage our children to confide in us, keep the communication between parent and child open and healthy, and provide them with a home environment that gives our children the confidence to speak up, feel safe, and have space to grow into who they want to become. When did it become okay for that to translate into “Well, teenagers will be teenagers. They are going to do it, one way or another. And I’d rather her come to me and get birth control, instead of going off, hiding it from me and feeling like I don’t understand her.”

I want my daughter to feel comfortable enough to come to me, explaining her feelings and desires, so that – together – we can come up with a wise answer. Can I not have the best of both worlds: an open, communicative relationship with a daughter who feels, at 15, 16, and 17, that she can wait a little longer to share her body with another? If she is going to have sex, I'd at least like her to have "something to think about." 

Do we really want gynecologists giving our teenage daughters a reason to “not think about” the consequences of sex? Or, am I too old-school in my beliefs?

What do you think? Gynecologists encouraging IUDs and hormone implants for teenagers: Good idea, or bad?

What do you think?

Gynecologists Say IUDs Better for Teens, Encouraging Teen Sex?

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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  1. Profile photo of ErinF ErinF says:

    Teens who want to have sex will have sex regardless of birth control use. I think that offering the IUD as an option is a great idea, though it should be accompanied by thorough parental communication and education. Teens should be made well aware that this form of birth control does not protect against STIs, and is not 100% effective as a contraceptive. It shouldn’t be a case of "I don’t have to think about it," but as an additional barrier against pregnancy. Hopefully, if a parent has the foresight to allow implantation of an IUD, they will also have an open dialogue about sex and its risks.

  2. Profile photo of Kim ShannonEditor Kim Shannon says:

    An IUD (intrauterine device) is a form of birth control – a small ‘T’-shaped device, containing either copper or progesterone, is inserted into the uterus!

  3. Profile photo of SPEDREX07 SPEDREX07 says:

    i think an iud is a great idea, i just feel like my daughter would be like, "oh now i can have sex unprotected anytime i want" I was 16 when i got pregnant and it was because i felt i as old enough to have a child and i wanted to start a family with the man i "loved" and get my life going. My son was never a mistake and i have never regretted this decision and to this day i can say im a better parent than my brothers and sisters are whose children were mistakes. I would give the IUD to my daughter if she was already having sex because like me she may want to have kids and at that point i would hope she would come talk to me before this idea was enacted so i could help her understand other ways to fulfill her need. but this is all theoretical because i have two boys and dont plan on having another kid for five years. However i wish there was a way to keep my boys protected, all i can do is pray for them and hope they trust me and come to me when they need it


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