HealthDay News — Emergency departments provide an opportunity to offer contraceptive education to adolescent girls, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Women’s Health.

Colleen K. Gutman, MD, from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues surveyed a convenience sample of 381 female patients aged 16 to 21 years who were seen in an urban pediatric emergency department. The survey assessed sexual health, contraceptive use, and interest in contraceptive counseling.

The researchers found that 80.5% of the survey respondents had been sexually active with a male partner, and 28.2% had previously been pregnant. Two-thirds reported interest in discussing contraception and 22.5% were likely to start or change contraception during the visit. Patients wanting to start or change contraception were more likely to be sexually active with a male partner (93 vs 82%) and to be unsatisfied with their current contraception (44 vs 21%). One in 6 of the adolescents likely to start or change contraception (17%) were interested in progestin implant initiation in the emergency department.

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“Adolescent emergency department visits have the potential to serve as an important opportunity to discuss and initiate effective contraception, particularly long-acting reversible contraception, as they significantly reduce unintended pregnancy and are recommended as first-line in this population,” the authors write.

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