The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) has released new guidelines which instruct clinicians to discuss contraceptive options in every consultation with adolescent patients.
The guidance, published by ACOG’s Committee on Adolescent Health Care, recommends that doctors discuss effective contraception methods with patients as young as 13 and at the very first visit.
The document discusses the need to allow adolescents privacy from their parents, and doctors are instructed to ensure patient confidentiality to the extent allowed by State law.
"Contraception should be a conversation with patients as early as appropriate," Dr. Karen R. Gerancher, a member of the committee, said in a statement. "When we're able to reach patients before they become sexually active, or early on in their sexually active life, we empower them to take control of their reproductive health, and prevent sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies that could permanently impact the future they've envisioned for themselves."
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