condoms, teens, pregnancy

Few Teen Moms Protect Themselves with Condoms and Long Acting Contraceptives Interview with:
Lee Warner, PhD

Chief of the Women’s Health and Fertility Branch
Division of Reproductive Health
CDC What is the background for this study?

Response: Previous research has found lower prevalence of condom use combined with the most effective reversible contraceptive methods among teens, but this is the first study to our knowledge to confirm the finding among sexually active teen mothers in the postpartum period.

Our new paper finds that only 3 in 10 postpartum teen mothers report using condoms combined with a more effective contraceptive method (either long-acting reversible contraception or LARC or a non-LARC hormonal method). Dual use was 50 percent lower among LARC users compared with users of non-LARC hormonal methods. What are the main findings?

Response: While teen birth rates in the U.S. are at a historic low, teens and young adults aged 15-24 years account for more than half of new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the U.S. each year. Correct and consistent condom use remains an important strategy for preventing against STIs and HIV. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend sexually active teenagers use both condoms and a more effective contraceptive method to prevent pregnancy and HIV/STI infection. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The important takeaway for teens is clear: long-acting reversible contraception and other types of birth control can certainly protect against pregnancy, but they do not protect against HIV and other STIs, which can have tremendous health implications. Promoting condom use for STI/HIV prevention among all sexually active teens remains critical. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Additional research exploring what motivates sexually active postpartum teenagers to use condoms with other contraceptive methods could help inform strategies to better address the reproductive health needs of this unique, high-risk population. 


Kortsmit K, Williams L, Pazol K, et al. Condom Use With Long-Acting Reversible Contraception vs Non–Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Hormonal Methods Among Postpartum Adolescents. JAMA Pediatr. Published online May 20, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1136 

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD