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How do teens understand and talk about contraception?

PolicyLab’s Cynthia Mollen published an article exploring language associations with contraception, emergency contraception (EC), and pregnancy among adolescent women that raises questions about whether adolescents understand these concepts. While 80% of teen pregnancies are unintended, and emergency contraception (EC) provides a safe and effective method to prevent pregnancy, misunderstandings between pediatricians and patients may contribute to EC’s underuse in the adolescent population. The study found high variability and uncertainty in the language that adolescents used to characterize EC, implying that tailored health education for particular adolescent subgroups may be more effective than a “one size fits all” approach at dispelling misconceptions about contraception and improving pediatrician-patient communication.