According to a report released on Wednesday by CDC (the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) the number of teenagers who use the morning-after pill has steadily increased. Compared to ten years ago when the rate of teenagers who used the morning-after pill was of one in twelve nowadays one in five teenage girls have reported to have used the pill. This dramatic increase could indicate that it might be easier for adolescents to buy emergency contraceptives especially since they do not need a medical prescription.
The morning-after pill contains an increased dose of the female hormone progestin compared to the normal birth control pills. If the pill is taken within 72 hours after the unprotected sexual intercourse occurred it can cut the chances of pregnancy by 99 percent. It normally costs between 35 and 50 dollars. The age limit to buy the morning-after pill was removed two year ago. Until then teenagers could have bought the pill over the counter.
The research was conducted on 2.000 participants who had ages between 15 and 19 from 2011 to 2013. Besides the increased use of the morning-after pill researchers also observed that the number of teenagers who said they have had sex has decreased. Compared to the results reported from the late 1980s until early 2000s the proportion of teens who have had sex was smaller.
In 1988 the teen sex level was 51 percent for girls and 60 percent for boys. The decrease in teen sex remained unchanged from a decade ago, meaning 45 percent for both girls and boys. Why the decline leveled off is hard to explain, but the rates are not expected to drop and reach 30 percent for example.
This decrease is said to be explained by the fact that nowadays teenagers receive a more thorough sexual education and they are also more concerned about sexually spread diseases such as AIDS. The better use of contraception has also contributed to this. Researchers also observed a great drop in the number of teen birth rates starting with 1991.
Regarding the increased use of morning-after pill Bill Albert from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy remarked that teenagers, just like adults, might not always be good at contraception.
Image Source: standard.co.uk