Push to prescribe teens with emergency contraceptives - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Push to prescribe teens with emergency contraceptives

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A new recommendation is being given to doctors and health experts nationwide as they continue to struggle with the nations birthrate among adolescents.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released an online statement saying doctors should give underage teens prescriptions for emergency contraceptives like Plan B before they start having sex.

It also says doctors should counsel teens on the various options for emergency birth control.

Most emergency contraceptives, if taken within three to five days, can prevent pregnancy by stopping the ovary from releasing an egg or by stopping sperm from fertilizing an egg.

They are most effective when used within the first 24 hours after unprotected sex

Young women age 17 or older can purchase emergency contraceptives over the counter with a drivers license.

Underage teens require prescriptions and even some pharmacies require parental consent.

Doctors provide prescriptions to younger teens already but often times it is after the teen has already had unprotected sex.

By the time a teen sets up an appointment to see a doctor, the pill may not be as helpful or helpful at all.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says prescribing beforehand is a good method of prevention.