J Adolesc Health. 2013 Apr;52(4 Suppl):S29-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.02.002

Dual use of long-acting reversible contraceptives and condoms among adolescent

Williams RL, Fortenberry JD
Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA
rw6@iu.edu

Unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI) continue to be significant public health problems, and adolescents are disproportionately affected by both. With national attention and funding directed toward adolescent pregnancy prevention, promotion of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) use among adolescents is both timely and relevant. However, LARCs provide no protection against STIs, requiring dual-method use of both LARC and barrier methods, most commonly the male latex condom, to address these issues simultaneously. Rates of both LARC and dual-method contraception are low in the United States, but have increased in recent years. Dual-method contraception is highest among younger women and adolescents with multiple or new sex partners. Consistent condom use remains a major barrier to dual-method use, as it necessitates admission of STI risk by both partners, and use is dependent upon two decision-makers rather than a single contraceptive user. Promoting the initiation and maintenance of LARC and condom use across multiple partnered sexual encounters requires understanding of individual, dyadic, and social influences. Successful maintenance of contraceptive and STI prevention behaviors requires individualized, longitudinal reinforcement, and social supports, but can ultimately reduce the burden of unintended pregnancy and STI among adolescents