Teen abstinence isn’t becoming any more popular, but more teens are using contraception the first time they have sex, according to a new report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report found that 42 percent of teen girls and 44 percent of teen boys have had sex. Those numbers have stayed steady over the past 15 years. But as the teen birth rate continues to tumble, the way teens choose to use contraception has changed. Here’s what the survey of teens between 2011 and 2015 found:
- More teenage girls are using contraception the first time they have sex. Between 2011 and 2015, 81 percent of teen girls used contraception the first time they had sex, up from 75 percent in 2002. But there are significant differences in contraceptive use among girls when the numbers are broken down by race — 62 percent of black girls used contraception the first time they had sex, compared with 79 percent of Hispanic girls and 87 percent of white girls.
- Condoms are the most popular form of contraception. And more teenage boys are using them the first time they have sex. Nearly 80 percent used a condom the first time they had sex, up from 71 percent in 2002.
- Emergency contraception use is on the rise. In 2002, just 8 percent of sexually active teen girls had used emergency contraception. Now, 23 percent have used it to prevent pregnancy after sex.
- IUDs and other long-acting, reversible contraceptives are becoming more common. The new report finds that nearly 6 percent of teens have used LARCs. About 3 percent of those have received intrauterine devices, and another 3 percent used hormonal implants.