Long-acting reversible contraception for adolescents

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Oct;24(5):293-8. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e32835686d5.


Purpose of review: Teen pregnancy continues to plague the United States. This review will discuss long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method use in teens, comprising intrauterine devices and subdermal implants.

Recent findings: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization have recognized the potential impact of LARC (comprising intrauterine contraception and subdermal implants) to reduce unintended pregnancies. They have affirmed the safety of such devices, and no effects on long-term fertility have been identified. Teen users of these methods have been shown to have high continuation and satisfaction rates. On the contrary, oral contraceptive pills, the patch, and the contraceptive vaginal ring have significantly higher contraceptive failure rates, and these rates are magnified in young women.

Summary: LARC methods should be considered first-line options for teens seeking contraception.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Implants
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy, Unwanted
  • United States


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Drug Implants