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Report: Almost 20 percent of teen births are not a first child

Published: Wednesday, April 3 2013 8:46 a.m. MDT

A federal report has found that 18 percent of births, or nearly one in five births to U.S. teens ages 15-19, are not the teens' first child.

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A federal report has found that 18 percent of births, or nearly one in five births to U.S. teens ages 15-19, are not the teens' first child.

"Of the 365,000 teens who gave birth in 2010, almost 67,000 (18.3 percent) have had at least one child before, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's down from 19.5 percent in 2007. Most were the teen mom's second child (86 percent).

"But more teen moms are using birth control, the report says — almost 91 percent used some form of contraception after having had a baby. But just 22 percent of those used contraceptive methods considered to be 'most effective' — tubal ligation, vasectomy, hormonal implant or intrauterine device (IUD). With those, the report says, the risk of becoming pregnant is less than one pregnancy in 100 users a year. The pill, injectables, the patch and the ring are considered 'moderately effective.'

"'The trend is definitely up both on birth control generally and using the most effective forms of birth control, which we call LARC (long-acting reversible contraception),' says CDC Director Tom Frieden. 'What that's telling us is nearly all teen moms want to avoid pregnancy and are taking steps to avoid a repeat pregnancy. But the challenge is only one in five are using the most effective means of doing that.'"

Read more about teen births on USA Today.

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