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Pediatricians Back Long-Acting Birth Control

Long-acting birth control methods should be the first choice for teenagers who have sex, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says. The two long-acting methods are intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormone implants. The new advice comes in a revised policy statement from the AAP, a large group of children's doctors. The statement notes that abstinence is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy. For teens who decide to have sex, doctors are urged to explain the pros and cons of birth control methods and recommend condoms to prevent disease. Most teens choose condoms or birth control pills. But the long-acting methods are much more reliable, the AAP says. An IUD is a tiny, T-shaped device that is placed inside the uterus. It works for 5 to 10 years. Pregnancy rates are 0.2% to 0.8% per year. Implants are placed under the skin of the arm.

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