Closing the Gap between Clinical Practice & Evidence

Unintended pregnancy remains a serious public health challenge in the US and especially affects adolescents and young adult women. About half of pregnancies nationwide are unintended, and that proportion increases to more than 60% for 20-24 year olds and 80% for 15-19 year olds.

To help reduce unintended pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Academy of Pediatrics recommend that IUDs and implants be used as first-line contraceptive methods for most women, including adolescents.

Though IUDs and implants are safe and highly effective for women of all ages, health care providers are less familiar with these methods and do not routinely include them in contraceptive counseling. National surveys show that just 38% of US physicians who provide contraceptives offer IUDs to adolescents and 53% offer them to women without children, although it is safe to do so. Instead, providers tend to rely on condoms or the pill, which have much higher (up to 20 fold) failure rates. 

Our training addresses this gap between clinical practice and the evidence on IUDs and implants. Health care providers receive updated information on the latest science and professional recommendations and have time to practice counseling and clinical skills. The importance of educating women about IUDs and implants as part of routine contraceptive care is emphasized. Tested in a national randomized trial, the training has been shown to reduce unintended pregnancy by half among young women through improvements in counseling and access to highly effective contraception. 

Better birth control counseling helps reduce unintended pregnancy among young women.