Levels of Teen Sexual Activity Essentially Unchanged Between 2007–2012

Improvements in contraceptive use have led to a drop in the risk of pregnancy among U.S. adolescents aged 15–19—and these changes also appear to be driving the recent declines in teen pregnancy rates, abortion rates and birthrates. A new analysis titled “Understanding the Decline in Adolescent Fertility in the United States, 2007–2012,” by Dr. Laura Lindberg and colleagues, estimated that improved contraceptive use accounted for the entire 28% decline in teen pregnancy risk between 2007 and 2012. The authors found significant increases in teens’ use of any contraceptive method, use of multiple methods and use of highly effective methods, as well as a decline in contraceptive nonuse.

“There was no significant change in adolescent sexual activity during this time period,” says lead author Dr. Lindberg. “Rather, our new data suggest that recent declines in teens’ risk of pregnancy—and in their pregnancy rates—are driven by increased contraceptive use.”

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