ESPE Abstracts (2014) 82 WG5.5

Contraception in Adolescence from a Public Health Perspective

Pierre-André Michard

Multidisciplinary Unit for Adolescent Health, Lausanne, Switzerland

Recent data pertaining to the bio-psychosocial development of the adolescent, particularly from a neurobiological perspective, indicate that both at the level of individual care and of preventive strategies, the concepts, languages and strategies used should be adapted to the maturity of the adolescents. Moreover, since around thirty years under the era of AIDS, the medical scientific literature tackling the issue of adolescent sexuality and sexual behavior has sadly focused either on the prevention of pregnancy, or the issue of STIs, rarely both. This gap deteriorates the impact of health care delivery and prevention or health promotion.

We propose an integrated approach to the issue of oral contraception during adolescence taking into account the physiological and maturational vulnerability of minor adolescents, and addressing the three developmental stages of adolescence.

On the individual level the policies which govern adolescent care should incorporate issues such as confidentiality and the right to make decision. On the level of school and community health, the preventive strategies that are implemented should be evidence based and involve adolescents themselves. At a broader level, the legal framework and the policies developed should improve access to oral contraception, including the use of emergency contraception.

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