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Adolescent Development and Contraceptive Use

Rates of teen pregnancy are higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries.1 Hormonal methods of birth control (such as the pill) and barrier methods (such as condoms) can reduce the risk of pregnancy,2 and condom use with every sexual act can greatly reduce—though not eliminate—the risk of STDs.3 Condom and contraceptive use among adolescents has increased since the 1990s, but many adolescents are inconsistent users: roughly 40 percent of males and nearly half of females reported that they or their partner did not use a condom the last time they had sexual intercourse.4

Check out these resources for adolescent contraception and condom use services

  • Federally funded Title X family planning clinics offer low-cost STD testing and contraceptive services for all who want and need them. By law, priority is given to persons from low-income families. Adolescents and others can find a Title X funded clinic by zip code with the Office of Population Affairs tool at the bottom of this page.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has a locator service that helps visitors search for testing centers where they can receive STD and HIV testing services, as well as vaccines for Hepatitis B and HPV.

Learn more about contraception and condom use and adolescents


1 United Nations Statistics Division. (2017). Demographic Yearbook 2016. New York, NY: United Nations. Retrieved from https://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic-social/products/dyb/documents/dyb2016/table10.pdf.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Contraception. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/contraception/index.htm.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Condoms and STDs: Fact sheet for public health personnel.Washington, DC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/docs/condoms_and_stds.pdf.
4 Kann, L., McManus, T., Harris, W. A., Shanklin, S. L., Flint, K. H., Queen, B., ... & Lim, C. (2018). Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2017. MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 67(8), 1. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/pdf/2017/ss6708.pdf.
Content created by Office of Adolescent Health
Content last reviewed on March 28, 2019