Advice to A 17 Year-old Sexually Active Female Interested in Starting Birth Control

A 17 year-old sexually active female presents to your clinic and reports that she is interested in starting birth control. Briefly discuss at least THREE birth control options and be sure to mention the pros/cons/indications/contraindications for each method.

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            Contraception for adolescents is a fundamental tenet of sexual health promotion meant to promote best practices among young adults. Considering both “typical use” and “perfect use” of various available methods of contraception ensures a suitable choice is made solely based on the efficiency. In this case scenario, selecting and reviewing the most suitable method of contraception for our 17-year old sexually active client is crucial in preventing unplanned pregnancies and contracting sexually transmitted infections (STDs). Combined Oral Contraception (COC) pills, Progestin implants, and intrauterine contraception (IUDs) are among leading methods of contraception in use today. COCs have been available for the past five decades and now considered one of the most effective methods in preventing unwanted pregnancies. They are the most preferred method of hormonal contraception among young adults and typically designed to taken orally.

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Combined Oral Contraceptions contain a combination of progestin and estrogen as prototype contraception for other methods of birth control (Shah & Agrawal, 2017, p. 413). COCs are favored because they do not interrupt sex, are easy to take, and have a higher likelihood of success when taken consistently. However, it does not protect users from STIs and associated with adverse side effects which may include nausea, headaches, and an irregular monthly period. Combined Oral Contraceptions are also associated with reduced chances of developing pelvic inflammatory disease and also lessen symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in young women (Guillebaud, 2016). The contraindications for Combined Oral Contraceptions include diabetes, a history of renal disease, smoking, and hypertension.

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On the other hand, progestin implants are in a class of contraceptives which periodically etonegestrel to block the release of oocytes from the ovaries (Phill, 2019, p. 321). Progestin implants are highly effective and may remain in place for up to 3 years. Advantages include its cost-effectiveness as a long-term method of contraception, is safe, and can be used for an extended period. Yet, common disadvantages include mood swings, high prevalence of developing acne, and breast tenderness. Indications for progestin implants include cigarette smoking, obesity, and a current history of STIs or PID.

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Intrauterine device or coil is a long-acting method of birth control which involves placing a copper-coated T-shaped device in the uterus to prevent fertilization (Guillebaud, 2016, p. 136). Major advantages include its small size, effectiveness in preventing pregnancies and low maintenance. Nonetheless, it must be inserted by a specialist, does not protect against STIs, and may occasionally slip out of place. Indications include persons living with HIV and those with nulliparous while contraindications include pregnancy, current pelvic infection, and a distorted uterine anatomy (Trussell, 2017).

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