Family Planning - A Global Handbook for Providers - offers clinic-based health care professionals in low- and middle-income countries the latest guidance on providing contraceptive methods.
It includes a section on Adolescents. Below are extracts. Read the full text here:
Adolescents: All contraceptives are safe for young people. Unmarried and married youth may have different sexual and reproductive health needs.
Young people may come to a family planning provider not only for contraception but also for advice about physical changes, sex, relationships, family, and problems of growing up. Their needs depend on their particular situations. Some are unmarried and sexually active, others are not sexually active, while still others are already married. Some already have children. Age itself makes a great difference, since young people mature quickly during the adolescent years. These differences make it important to learn about each client first, to understand why that client has come, and to tailor counseling and the offer of services accordingly.
Young people deserve reproductive health services that meet their needs and are nonjudgmental and respectful, no matter how young the person is. Criticism or unwelcoming attitudes will keep young people away from the care they need. Counseling and services do not encourage young people to have sex. Instead, they help young people protect their health.
Appropriate sexual and reproductive health services, including contraception, should be available and accessible to all adolescents without requiring authorization from a parent or guardian by law, policy, or practice...
Implants, copper-bearing IUDs, and LNG-IUDs may be good choices for many young women because:
– These methods are very effective—fewer than 1 pregnancy per 100 women in the first year of use.
– Once in place, these methods do not require any action by the user. She does not have to plan in advance for sex...
Injectables can be used without others knowing...
Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs). Young women may have less control than older women over having sex and using contraception. They may need ECPs more often...
Male and female condoms - Protect against STIs as well as pregnancy. Many young people need protection against both...
Diaphragms, spermicides, and cervical caps - Although among the least effective methods, young women can control use of these methods, and they can be used as needed.
Fertility awareness methods - Until a young woman has regular menstrual cycles, fertility awareness methods should be used with caution.
Withdrawal - Requires the man to know when he is about to ejaculate so he can withdraw in time. This may be difficult for some young men. One of the least effective methods of pregnancy prevention, but it may be the only method available—and always available—for some young people.
Best wishes, Neil
Joint Coordinator, HIFA Project on Family Planning
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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG firstname.lastname@example.org