Although adolescent pregnancy rates in the United States have decreased significantly over the past decade, births to adolescents remain both an individual and public health issue. As advocates for the health and well-being of all young people, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly supports the recommendation that adolescents postpone consensual sexual activity until they are fully ready for the emotional, physical, and financial consequences of sex. The academy recognizes, however, that some young people will choose not to postpone sexual activity, and as health care providers, the responsibility of pediatricians includes helping teens reduce risks and negative health consequences associated with adolescent sexual behaviors, including unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. This policy statement provides the pediatrician with updated information on contraception methods and guidelines for counseling adolescents.
- Sexually transmitted infections