The effect of long-acting reversible contraception on rapid repeat pregnancy in adolescents: a review

J Adolesc Health. 2013 Apr;52(4 Suppl):S47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.10.278.


Repeat pregnancy within 2 years of a previous birth or abortion occurs in approximately 35% of recently pregnant female adolescents. The majority of these pregnancies are classified as unintended with about half ending in births and the remainder in abortions. Rapid repeat pregnancy (RRP) is associated with increased maternal and neonatal morbidity and continues a cycle of economic deprivation for young women and their families. Immediately following a pregnancy, most young women report an intention to avoid pregnancy in the near future, but many change their minds or become ambivalent within months. Lack of contraceptive use is more common among those teens that resume sexual intercourse earlier, live with a male partner, had a preterm delivery, or had an intended teen pregnancy. Adolescents who do not initiate a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method (intrauterine device or contraceptive implant) have up to a 35 times increased risk of RRP compared with their peers using LARC. Risk of RRP is decreased when LARC methods are initiated earlier after an abortion or within the postpartum period. This review will focus on the prevalence of RRP, the risk factors for RRP, and the effectiveness of strategies to reduce unintended RRP including counseling and early initiation of long-acting contraceptive methods.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproductive History
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Young Adult