Did you know that nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended? Even more surprising is that an even higher rate of unintended pregnancies – 75% – occurs among adolescents ages 15 to 19 years old, especially those from families with lower incomes.
According to national data, 55% of American high school students are having sexual intercourse by the age of 18, yet adolescents under-use effective contraceptive measures. In fact, self-reported condom use has decreased significantly in recent years among high schools, and only 9% of those who are sexually active report using both a condom to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and more effective birth control methods to prevent pregnancy.
As a result, cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are rapidly increasing among young people, and if left untreated, these STIs can lead to infertility, negative pregnancy and birth outcomes, and an increased risk of acquiring new sexually transmitted diseases – all of which underscore the importance of adolescents getting accessible contraception. Not only does it allow them to maintain their personal bodily autonomy but also enables them to make healthy decisions when it comes to sex.
The Benefits of Accessible Contraception
There are many demonstrated social, economic, and healthcare benefits of a person’s ability to use reliable contraception – especially among teenagers and young adults. These include:
- Improved health and general well-being.
- Reduced maternal mortality, disproportionally affects those who are black, Hispanic, or from other minority groups.
- Pregnancy prevention, particularly in the case of sexual abuse.
- The health benefit of pregnancy as it pertains to maternal and child health.
- Greater female engagement in the workforce.
- The ability to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
- The regulation of shorter and lighter menstrual periods.
- The suppression of painful ovarian cysts.
- Effective treatment for endometriosis, a chronic disease associated with severe pain during menstrual cycles that can have an impact on fertility, affects one in 10 women and girls of reproductive age worldwide.
The most effective way to prevent unintended pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases is by providing access to patient-centered reproductive health care that includes access to comprehensive and affordable contraception.
Accessible Contraception in Purchase, New York
At BridgeSpan Medicine, we recognize that healthy adolescent sexual development is not just about physical changes, but also one’s sexual behavior, not to mention emotional maturity, relationship skills, and body image. As such, a significant facet of our adolescent medical care is focused on providing services that address and help ensure your child’s gynecologic and sexual health. In addition to providing access to reliable contraception, we help your child maintain their sexual wellness with services such as STI testing, LGBTQIA support, and transgender medicine.
In the process, our board-certified team of physicians provides confidential, nonjudgmental, compassionate support and treatment to teens and young adults with a singular goal – to keep your child safe and healthy as they grow, mature, and transition from childhood to adolescence and on to adulthood.
To learn more about our accessible contraception and other sexual wellness services or to schedule a private consultation with one of our doctors, call our office at (914) 698-5544 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form.