Awareness of long-acting reversible contraception among teens and young adults

J Adolesc Health. 2013 Apr;52(4 Suppl):S35-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.01.013.


Adolescents and young women were historically excluded from receiving long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) after widespread concerns about infection and infertility 40 years ago reduced IUD use for all women. Over the last several years, concerted efforts by professional health organizations have promoted LARC as an excellent solution to the epidemic of unintended pregnancy in adolescents and young adults, yet uptake has increased slowly. In this article we review evidence regarding awareness of LARC among young women, and perceptions and knowledge of LARC in this population. We review evidence on clinical providers' knowledge and beliefs about LARC, and their beliefs about the appropriateness or risks of LARCs for adolescents and young women. We discuss an active role for providers in increasing awareness of LARC among young women, rather than relying on patient request for methods of which they have little knowledge. Finally, we suggest avenues of future research into the most effective and efficient ways to increase awareness of LARC among adolescents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy, Unwanted
  • Young Adult