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Early initiation of postpartum contraception decreases rapid repeat pregnancy in teens

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Especially if long-acting reversible contraception is placed within 8 weeks of birth



In an effort to determine how to curb rapid repeat adolescent pregnancy, researchers at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, conducted a retrospective cohort study with first-time adolescent mothers, aged 19 years or younger. The repeat pregnancy rate at 2 years was 35% (n = 340). The average (SD) time from delivery to the second pregnancy was 9.9 (6.4) months.

Damle and colleagues found that leaving the hospital after giving birth without initiating any contraception was associated with more than double the risk of repeat pregnancy (odds ratio [OR], 2.447; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.326–4.515). Follow-up in clinic within an 8-week postpartum period significantly reduced the chance of repeat pregnancy (OR, 0.322; 95% CI, 0.172–0.603). And placement of a long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), including intrauterine device or etonogestrel subdermal implant, by 8 weeks’ postpartum decreased the chance of rapid repeat pregnancy (OR, 0.118; 95% CI, 0.035-0.397).

Researchers Damle and colleagues concluded that adolescent mothers who begin to use a LARC within 8 weeks’ postpartum are less likely to have a repeat pregnancy within 2 years than those who chose another method or no contraception at all.

“First time adolescent mothers should be counseled about this advantage of using LARC,” wrote the authors.

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