SAN ANTONIO – Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods are highly effective birth control options for nulliparous adolescents, according to research presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2016 National Conference.

Amy Bigham, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, COI, Associate Professor at the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, presented clinical practice guidelines focused on new labeling practices and new products surrounding LARC.

More than 40% of adolescents in the United States aged between 15 and 19 years are sexually active; the majority of those teens report using contraception methods that include condoms, oral contraception, and withdrawal. High failure rates surrounding these methods regularly result in adolescent pregnancies, 80% of which are unplanned.

Continue Reading

“This statistic indicates a need for reliable and effective contraceptive methods for adolescents,” wrote Dr Bigham. “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends the use of LARC in adolescents due to the top-tier efficacy and safety.”

Upon their introduction, the FDA recommended LARC for use only in women who had experienced childbirth. Other barriers to wide use of LARC include lack of familiarity with these methods, misconceptions regarding cost or efficacy, lack of access to providers who will perform the insertion procedures, and safety concerns regarding LARC use in adolescents.

“When considering birth control options for the nulliparous adolescent, LARC should be considered a viable option,” concluded Dr Bigham.

Click here for ongoing coverage of AANP 2016.  


  1. Bigham A. Long-acting reversible contraception: recommendations for use in the nulliparous adolescent. Presented at: 2016 National Conference of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, San Antonio, TX; June 21-26, 2016.