Pediatricians Aren't Trained in 1 Thing Teen Girls Really Need

teen girl with doctor

While there are plenty of safe sex options currently available to teenagers (condoms and oral contraceptives, just to name a few), there's one method that's been recommended above all: intrauterine devices, or IUDs. But though it's the number one form of contraception according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it turns out that pediatricians are not trained on inserting IUDs.


In fall of 2014, the AAP recommended that IUDs be used as a "first-line" of contraceptives to help prevent teen pregnancy, since they are more than 99 percent effective. Not soon after, however, it was discovered that many pediatricians are not actually knowledgeable about how to administer the devices.

More from The Stir: Why Every Teen Girl Should Have an IUD

For the past several years, IUD training was not part of the standard medical residency curriculum for pediatricians. But since many pediatricians do end up treating children long into their teenage years, it's becoming more and more important to place additional emphasis on this form of birth control.

The Atlantic notes that pediatricians only spend about a month studying "adolescent medicine," and that while adult women have easier access to IUDs because they typically see gynecologists, teenagers face many additional obstacles.

Besides for obvious privacy concerns and availability, finding pediatricians who are able and willing to insert IUDs continues to be an issue for some teens. They can be referred to another practice (though if they're looking to get it confidentially, this would alert Mom and Dad), but continue to be limited by location.

So the best form of action? Finding a pediatrician who is knowledgeable and familiar with the technique. That'll be a further step in the contraception conversation.

Have you had the safe sex talk with your daughter?



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