Leslie Carol Botha: Really? Merck? I have spent 6 years warning parents about the dangers of Merck’s Gardasil vaccine for HPV – and now I have to take them on for implanting silicone rods with synthetic hormones dripping out of them into teenage girls’ bodies.
What I said about the dangers of vaccinating girls at the most fragile time of their lives – menarche – holds true for implanting synthetic rods into their arms before their reproductive system even has a chance to develop. What are the long-term consequences? Infertility? Cancer? Only time will tell.
Hope we do not see a commercial with a jingle and girls prancing around singing ‘One less girl to get pregnant’ while Merck smirks singing ‘One more girl’ to get an STD – (and a vaccination.)
IUDs, implants are best birth control methods for teenage girls, doctors group says
The Wall Street Journal
September 20, 2012
CHICAGO — Teenage girls may prefer the pill, the patch or even wishful thinking, but their doctors should be recommending IUDs or hormonal implants — long-lasting and more effective birth control that you don’t have to remember to use every time, the nation’s leading gynecologists group said Thursday.
The IUD and implants are safe and nearly 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, and should be “first-line recommendations,” the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in updating its guidance for teens.
Both types of contraception are more invasive than the pill, requiring a doctor to put them in place. That, and cost, are probably why the pill is still the most popular form of contraception in the U.S.
But birth control pills often must be taken at the very same time every day to be most potent. And forgetting to take even one can lead to pregnancy, which is why the pill is sometimes only 91 percent effective.
An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a small, T-shaped piece of plastic inserted in the uterus that can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. An implant is a matchstick-size plastic rod that releases hormones. It is placed under the skin of the upper arm and usually lasts three years.
The new guidelines don’t tell teens not to use other methods, but “if your goal is to prevent a pregnancy, then using an implant or an IUD would be the best way to do this,” said Dr. Tina Raine-Bennett, head of the committee that wrote the recommendations.
The organization’s previous guidelines, issued in 2007, also encouraged the use of IUDs and implants among teenagers. The new guidelines go further in saying physicians should discuss the two types of birth control with sexually active teens at every doctor visit.
The gynecologists group said condoms should still be used at all times because no other birth control method protects against AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
While it may sound surprising that such invasive contraceptives are being endorsed for teenagers, 43 percent of girls ages 15 to 19 have had sex, a government survey found. Most are using some kind of effective birth control, but only about 5 percent use the long-lasting devices, the gynecologists group said.