Adolescent Girls Having the ‘Talk’ with Pediatricians at Age 9

Holy Hormones Journal: For the first time, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) has endorsed ‘named’ birth control for adolescent girls. In 2007, all the AAP did was issue contraceptive guidelines but now they are recommending the IUD -either Mirena or Paraguard or the implant Implanon and Nexplanon.

adolescent girl in exam roomAccording to the AAP, doctors beginning to have the ‘talk’ with girls as young as 9 years old is acceptable and suggested. Starting with non-sexist topics of course, and then by the time the girls are 11 or 12 – those doctors are asking parents to leave the room – so they can really have the ‘talk’ because of the girl’s ‘budding’ attraction to the opposite sex, (is that like in breast buds?).  The doctors also discuss their recommended choice for birth control – the IUD, the implant – and about the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. Cause you can’t have the ‘talk’ without including STD’s. And by the way, if a doctor says to you age age 11 you need this vaccine to prevent cervical cancer – you are going to see FEAR right before your eyes. And no parents in the room.  These doctors feel that by the age of 11 young girls are expecting the ‘talk’ – better from a pediatrician than your parents (who may not discuss the issue) or peers who may distort the issue.

With girls becoming sexually active at an earlier age, is it safe to put them on hormonal contraceptives? Will parents have a choice?

Information on the AAP recommended forms of birth control:

According to Planned Parenthood, IUDs are implanted in the uterus, where they release small amounts of either copper or the hormone progestin. The , about the size of a matchstick, is inserted under the skin of the arm, where it releases controlled amounts of progestin.

The hormonal IUD (sold under the brand name Mirena) can prevent pregnancy for five years, while the copper version (ParaGard) is effective for about 10 years, according to Planned Parenthood. The contraceptive implant (Implanon, Nexplanon) works for up to three years.

Although, I am concerned about adolescents getting long-acting reversible forms of contraception – I am just as concerned about pediatrician’s potential control and influence on our children. A bill was passed in California within the last few years revoking parental rights in lieu of state rights for children over the age of 12 for sexual, mental and dental health. Is this the precedent that will set the stage for the rest of the country? There were so many in CA who raised an uproar when this bill was introduced. But parental voices were not heard.  Would this bill be passed in any other state? Maybe not. Doesn’t appear that it needs to be either.

Sexually active teens should get IUDs, doctors group says

December 2, 2014

With “Sesame Street” characters gracing the walls and building blocks on the floor, the pediatrician’s office may seem like an unlikely place to discuss birth control.

But concerns about teething and toilet training quickly give way to discussions of other developmental milestones – such as a budding attraction to the opposite sex.

Without a lot of fanfare, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued new recommendations for adolescents who are sexually active: long-acting reversible forms of contraception, such as intrauterine devices or hormonal implants, citing “efficacy, safety and ease of use.”

The new policy is a shift for the nation’s leading pediatrics organization, which last issued contraceptive guidelines in 2007 and did not recommend a specific contraceptive method.

“It’s a change … and one people might be surprised about,” acknowledged Dr. Anita Chandra-Puri, a pediatrician in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. “But it’s a change based on very careful research studies, which shows that this is a safe and very effective method of contraception.”

According to the academy’s policy statement, published in the October issue of Pediatrics, a decade of experience and data have demonstrated that IUDs and implants provide three to 10 years of contraception and are low risk and reliable. Only 1 in 2,000 women using implants get pregnant in a given year; for IUDs, the unintended pregnancy rate can be 1 in 500, depending on the type used. By contrast, the failure rate for condoms, the most popular form of contraception for teens, is 18 out of 100 times, the AAP reports.

The academy’s guidelines support the 2012 findings of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Dr. Mary A. Ott, lead author of the update.

Read full article…

PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.