An important part of having “the talk” with your teen is discussing safe sex and birth control options so they are prepared to make an informed decision when the time comes. In an effort to reduce teen pregnancy and provide sexual health information to teens in Greensboro, the Cone Health Foundation has partnered with providers in the area, including the Center for Children, to form the Healthy Tomorrow Alliance. By increasing access to care and educating teens on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), birth control choices, and reproductive health, the Alliance continues to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy and empower young people to take control of their future.
Research has found that long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) is the most effective way to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancies. LARCs, which include contraceptive implants that are normally inserted in the arm and intrauterine devices (IUD), work best for teenagers because they only require one visit with their provider to administer the device and offer protection for three to five years, depending on the method. Other methods that require a daily dosage or more frequent visits are easier to forget. While condoms are not the most effective use of birth control, it is still recommended that they are used during any sexual encounter to prevent the spread of STIs.
If you don’t feel comfortable discussing all the options with your teen, or you aren’t sure what is currently available, schedule an appointment with their provider or a specialist that can find the best solution for them. In North Carolina, a minor can confidentially see a medical professional about pregnancy, STIs and birth control on their own. Cone Health Center for Children is an excellent resource in the community and offers same-day visits with a member of their exceptional team of adolescent medicine specialists, pediatricians, and other health professionals.
Caroline Hacker is a family nurse practitioner and adolescent medicine specialist at the Cone Health Center for Children. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing and Master of Science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.