The teen birth rate has been on the decline in the U.S., but a new government report says this country still has the highest teen pregnancy rate among developed nations.
Among teen-age girls ages 15-19 who gave birth as a result of an unplanned pregnancy, half weren’t using any kind of birth control. And of that group not using contraceptives at the time of an unplanned pregnancy, 31.4 percent believed they couldn’t get pregnant at the time, according to 2004-2008 data in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday.
The teen birth rate for teenagers ages 15-19 hit a record low in 2010, and has declined for the last three years and 17 out of the past 19 years, according to a CDC report released this past November. In that same report, the CDC found total births in the U.S. were down 3 percent in 2010, the fertility rate also declined 3 percent that year and births to unmarried mothers had also declined.
Understanding the contraceptive use patterns of the group of teens that became pregnant while not using contraceptives and their reasons for not using contraceptives is critical to best understand how to prevent teen pregnancies, the CDC says in the new report.
The agency says efforts are needed to reduce or delay onset of sexual activity, provide teens factual information about how and when pregnancies occur, increase their negotiation skills for pregnancy prevention, improve access to contraceptives and encourage use of more effective contraceptives.