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Best Birth Control Options for Teens: Effective Prevention


The teenage years are a time of significant growth and development, both physically and emotionally. As teenagers navigate the complexities of adolescence, they face numerous challenges, including decisions about their sexual health. One critical aspect of teen health is understanding the importance of contraception and the best birth control options for teens.

The topic of birth control can be sensitive and controversial, but it is essential to educate teenagers about their options to protect their health and well-being. This article discusses the importance of the best birth control for teens, factors to consider when choosing the right method, and the top 5 best birth control options for teens.

Additionally, it highlights the added benefits of birth control for teenage girls and provides tips for discussing birth control with teenagers.

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens here

Understanding the Importance of the Best Birth Control Options for Teens

Teen pregnancy rates have declined over the past few decades, but they remain a significant concern worldwide. Teen pregnancies often result in adverse outcomes for both the mother and the child, including increased health risks, lower educational attainment, and challenges in securing stable employment.

Teenagers’ birth control must be effective and convenient. By providing teenagers with the best birth control options, we can help reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy and empower them to make informed decisions about their sexual health.

In addition to pregnancy prevention, the best birth control for teens can also offer numerous health benefits, including regulating menstrual cycles, reducing menstrual pain, and managing acne. By selecting the right birth control method, teenagers can enjoy these added benefits while safeguarding their health and well-being.

Best Birth Control for Teens

  • Hers – Best birth control for teens acne
  • Medzino – Best birth control for teens preventing weight gain
  • Nurx – Best birth control for teens with least side effects

The best birth control pill for teens is subjective and individual, as side effects and needs differ for every young woman. That’s why our top choices are all telehealth services stocking a range of options. 

  1. Hers – Best Birth Control for Teens with Acne

Hers

If you want the best birth control for teens with acne, Hers is the service for you. As an online service, Hers also relieves the insecurity you may feel when seeing a doctor in-person. Better yet, Hers offers a range of other sexual health, primary health, and skin care products, making accessing healthcare more convenient all around.

Who Should Try Hers?

Hers stocks several of the best birth control options for teens dealing with acne. Some brands they have available use a combination of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol (EE/NGM), while others feature ethinyl estradiol plus desogestrel (EE/DSG).

Studies show that these forms of estrogen and progesterone are superior to others when it comes to reducing acne and oily skin.

For example, a trial recruiting more than 200 women demonstrated a 65.5% decrease in acne severity for the EE/DSG preparation and a 74.4% decrease for women taking the EE/NGM pills. The EE/NGM formula was the better choice for reducing skin oiliness, too [2].

Ethinyl estradiol creates the best birth control pill for teens with skin problems. It reduces the effects of testosterone, which helps to relieve acne. While some older progestins used to stimulate testosterone receptors, norgestimate and desogestrel have much weaker effects on them. If you have PCOS as the underlying cause of your acne, they’re probably your best bet.

If you’re worried about side effects, EE/NGM pills may be safer as they are triphasic. This means they have a cycle of three different doses over the course of each month. As triphasic pills simulate a natural menstrual cycle more than monophasic pills, they are less likely to over- or under-stimulate your estrogen and progesterone pathways [2].

Pros of Choosing Hers

  • Budget-friendly prescriptions from $12 per month make the best birth control for teenagers with acne more accessible.
  • Convenient online service saves you time, a bonus if you aren’t driving yet or have to travel further to access healthcare.
  • The service is developed by OB/GYNs, not unqualified entrepreneurs.

Cons of Choosing Hers

  • If you have an underlying condition such as undiagnosed PCOS or endometriosis, the online consultation may miss this.

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens with Hers 

  1. Medzino – Best Birth Control for Teens Preventing Weight Gain

Medzino

Medzino offers some of the best birth control for teens, including pill brands that won’t appear to cause weight gain. If you don’t want to deal with bloating or overall water retention, Medzino has options that won’t ruin your sports events, prom, or everyday comfort. 

Who Should Choose Medzino?

Medzino sells the top birth control options for teens who frequently experience apparent weight gain from taking contraceptive pills. Among your choices are low-estrogen formulations and minipills, which only contain progestins.

The best birth control for teens concerned about weight gain are those with little, or even no, estrogen. Although your mom may have experienced weight gain on the pill, newer formulations don’t cause true weight gain, meaning an increase in body fat. Today, you may only see increased fluid retention, which is usually temporary [3].

We also recommend Medzino’s options for young women who develop fluid retention as a symptom of PMS or early menstruation. When estrogen and progesterone are out of balance, which usually takes place between ovulation and menstruation, fluid retention is a common symptom.

Triphasic pills may be among the best birth control options for teens worried about weight gain. Trivora is one of Medzino’s triphasic pills, which reduces your chances of taking excessive doses of estrogen.

Pros of Choosing Medzino

  • You can see all of the ingredients listed and explained under each of the pill names, which includes any fillers or additives
  • A real healthcare professional offers a quick consultation to ensure you get the best birth control pill for teens like you
  • Every formulation lists its safety warnings

Cons of Choosing Medzino

  • The online consultation is predominantly a two-minute quiz, which may not capture all safety concerns

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens with Medzino 

  1. Nurx – Best Birth Control for Teens with the Least Side Effects

Nurx

We recommend Nurx, a telehealth provider offering the best birth control for teens concerned about side effects. Whether it’s your first time seeking birth control options for teens, or you’re trying to escape from the side effects of your current pill, Nurx has you covered.

Who Should Consider Nurx?

The sheer diversity of birth control options for teens on Nurx increases your chances of finding the one for you. As your ovarian reserves are much higher as a teenager, because you are born with all the eggs you’ll ever have, you are at your most fertile. This is why pills with minimal or no side effects are the best birth control for teens.

The best birth control pill for teens suffering fluid retention or bloating will contain drospirenone as the progestin. This is a diuretic, so you can pass excess fluid as urine instead of holding onto it. Even breast swelling or tenderness can respond to diuretics such as drospirenone [4].

What if you experience true weight gain, headache, or nausea? In this case, Nurx has the progestin-only minipill, Errin. The minipill works by making conception too difficult by thickening the vaginal fluid, and egg implantation too challenging by changing your uterine lining. Many women notice a generally lower rate of side effects on the minipill.

But what about breakthrough bleeding, where you still get a light (but false) period? Here, raising your dose of ethinyl estradiol to 35 micrograms can help. The options available on Nurx make it safer for you to take the pill continuously, if you want to skip your period entirely [4].

RELATED: Nurx Review

Pros of Choosing Nurx

  • You can use your family’s health insurance if you don’t work yet and cannot pay for your prescription yourself.
  • You have over a dozen options, so it’s easier to find the best birth control pill for teens with similar needs to you.
  • Nurx is a safe space to access the morning-after pill if you need it.

Cons of Using Nurx

  • The states of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Vermont, and West Virginia don’t allow the purchase of birth control pills online.

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens with Nurx

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Birth Control for Teens

When selecting the best birth control for teens, it is essential to consider several factors, including efficacy, safety, ease of use, and potential side effects. Every young woman is unique, so the best birth control pill for teens varies. Consequently, it is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals and involve teenagers in the decision-making process.

Other factors to consider include cost, accessibility, and the level of parental involvement required. It is crucial to strike a balance between providing teenagers with the autonomy to make their own informed decisions and ensuring that they have the necessary support and guidance from parents and healthcare professionals.

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens here  

Top 5 Best Birth Control Options for Teens

The best birth control options for teens include both hormonal and non-hormonal methods. Everyone is different, so the best choice for you depends on how well you can metabolize hormonal medication.

a. Birth Control Pill for Teenagers

The birth control pill is one of the most popular and effective contraception options for teens. It is easy to use, has a high success rate when taken correctly, and is available in various formulations to suit individual needs.

The best birth control pill for teens typically contains a combination of estrogen and progestin, which work together to prevent ovulation and thus pregnancy.

Some potential side effects of the birth control pill include weight gain, mood changes, and nausea. However, these side effects generally subside after a few months of use. It is essential for teenagers to take the pill consistently and at the same time each day for maximum efficacy.

With perfect use, the pill is one of the best birth control options for teens, thanks to its low failure rate of only 0.3%. Typical use, which takes into account the average likelihood of mistakes, gives a failure rate of 9% [5].

b. Condoms

Condoms are another popular and effective birth control option for teens. They provide dual protection by preventing pregnancy and reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms are easy to use, widely available, and relatively inexpensive. Better yet, they don’t have the side effects of hormonal contraception.

However, condoms require consistent and correct use for optimal protection, and some teenagers may find this challenging. It is essential to educate teenagers about the proper use and storage of condoms to ensure their effectiveness.

Condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy with perfect use, where you follow all instructions precisely. However, their typical use is linked to a failure rate of 18% [5].

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens here

c. Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are an increasingly popular birth control option for teens, primarily due to their long-lasting and highly effective nature. An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that a healthcare professional inserts into the uterus, where it releases hormones or copper to prevent pregnancy.

IUDs have a low risk of side effects and require minimal effort from the user, making them an ideal choice for teenagers who may struggle with adherence to other birth control methods. Their failure rate is a very low 0.2-0.6%, with the most effective device being the five-year IUD [5].

However, IUDs can be expensive and may require parental consent for teenagers under 18, depending on local regulations. They may also cause irregular bleeding or a loss of menstruation, or in the case of copper IUDs, heavier periods [5].

d. Birth Control Patch

The birth control patch is a thin, adhesive patch applied to the skin, which releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. The patch is easy to use, highly effective, and offers the added benefit of regulating menstrual cycles. Their side effects are similar to the contraceptive pill.

However, the patch may cause skin irritation in some individuals, and its efficacy may be reduced in those with higher body weights. Teenagers must change the patch weekly, making it slightly less convenient than some long-acting birth control options.

Perfect use of the transdermal patch is 0.3%, comparable to the pill. There is a 9% failure rate with typical use, so ensure that you replace each patch on time [5].

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens here

e. Birth Control Implant

The birth control implant is a small, flexible rod inserted under the skin of the upper arm by a healthcare professional. The implant releases hormones that prevent pregnancy for up to three years, making it a highly effective, long-lasting birth control option for teens. It is one of the most effective methods, with a tiny 0.05% failure rate [5].

Side effects of the implant can include irregular bleeding and weight gain, but these are generally mild and manageable. The birth control implant may be an excellent choice for teenagers seeking a discreet and low-maintenance contraception method.

What About Natural Family Planning?

Natural family planning predicts your most and least fertile days by tracking the days of your menstrual cycle, often alongside your body temperature and cervical mucus to estimate the day of ovulation. It’s up to 96% effective in preventing pregnancy, but is only 76% effective with typical use [5].

We don’t recommend natural family planning as one of the best birth control options for teens when used alone. This is because your menstrual cycle may not stabilize for several years, so your fertile days may differ each month. Additionally, with most of your ovarian reserve intact, you’re more fertile than even women in their 20s.

However, natural family planning may be a useful accompaniment to condoms, as they aren’t 100% effective. If some semen escapes, you could reduce your risk of pregnancy by only having sexual intercourse on your least fertile days. Natural Cycles is our top pick for women choosing natural family planning as a complementary contraception method.

Check out Natural Cycles here 

Additional Benefits of Finding the Best Birth Control Pill for Teens

Teenage girls may take contraception even if they aren’t sexually active, thanks to the benefits of hormonal methods in managing acne and menstrual problems.

a. Improved Acne Management

The pill and other hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill, patches, and implants, can help regulate hormone levels in the body, leading to improved acne management. This can be particularly beneficial for teenage girls who struggle with acne during their adolescent years.

b. Regulating Menstrual Cycles

Birth control methods that contain hormones can help regulate menstrual cycles, reducing the frequency and severity of periods. This can be especially helpful for teenage girls who experience heavy or painful periods. The best birth control pill for teens with menstrual problems is one that’s safe for continuous use.

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens here

Tips for Discussing the Best Birth Control Option with Teenagers

  1. Be open and honest: Create a comfortable and judgment-free environment for discussing birth control options with teenagers. Encourage open communication and address any questions or concerns that they may have.
  2. Provide accurate information: Ensure that teenagers can access accurate, age-appropriate information about the various birth control methods and their potential benefits and side effects.
  3. Involve healthcare professionals: Encourage teenagers to consult with healthcare professionals to determine the best birth control option for their individual needs and circumstances. The best birth control pill for teens is dependent on a range of personal factors.
  4. Respect autonomy: Support teenagers in making informed decisions about their birth control and respect their choices.

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens here

Supporting Teenagers in Responsible Decision-Making

By providing teenagers with the necessary information and support, we can empower them to make responsible decisions about their sexual health. This includes selecting the best birth control for teens that meets their individual needs and preferences.

Parents, educators, and healthcare professionals all play a crucial role in guiding teenagers toward responsible decision-making. By working together, we can help ensure that teenagers have the knowledge and resources they need to protect their health and well-being.

Best Birth Control for Teens: FAQs

Here are the top questions teenagers and families ask about finding the best birth control pill for teens and other methods.

Which Birth Control Has the Least Side Effects?

The best birth control for teens concerned about side effects is the hormonal IUD, which only releases a small dose of progestin. Low-dose and minipill options are also recommended.

Is it Healthy for a 14-Year-Old to Take Birth Control?

The general consensus is that it’s safe to choose from the best birth control pills for teens if you are 14 years old. We recommend the minipill or low-dose formulations to reduce the risk of side effects, as you are likely still growing and taking the pill for menstrual problems.

What is the Minimum Age for an IUD?

Medically speaking, there is no minimum age for an IUD once you start menstruating. It’s among the best birth control for teens, thanks to its low rate of side effects, set-and-forget nature, and ability to make your periods lighter if you choose the hormonal option.

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens here

The Importance of Finding the Best Birth Control as a Teen: Final Verdict

Educating teenagers about the best birth control options is essential for promoting responsible decision-making and protecting their health and well-being. By considering factors such as efficacy, safety, and ease of use, teenagers can choose the best birth control method for their individual needs.

The top 5 best birth control options for teens include the birth control pill, condoms, IUDs, the birth control patch, and the birth control implant.

In addition to pregnancy prevention, these birth control methods can offer added benefits such as improved acne management and regulated menstrual cycles. By involving teenagers in the decision-making process and providing them with accurate information and support, we can empower them to make informed choices about their sexual health.

Get a free consultation about the best birth control for teens here

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References

  1. Bansode OM, Sarao MS, Cooper DB. Contraception. [Updated 2022 Jul 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536949/
  2. Jaisamrarn, Unnop et al. “A comparison of multiphasic oral contraceptives containing norgestimate or desogestrel in acne treatment: a randomized trial.” Contraception vol. 90,5 (2014): 535-41. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2014.06.002
  3. Giersch, Gabrielle E W et al. “Estrogen to Progesterone Ratio and Fluid Regulatory Responses to Varying Degrees and Methods of Dehydration.” Frontiers in sports and active living vol. 3 722305. 14 Oct. 2021, doi:10.3389/fspor.2021.722305
  4. Stewart, Mary, and Kirsten Black. “Choosing a combined oral contraceptive pill.” Australian prescriber vol. 38,1 (2015): 6-11. doi:10.18773/austprescr.2015.002
  5. “Table: Comparison of Common Contraceptive Methods.” MSD Manual Professional Edition, Merck & Co., https://www.msdmanuals.com/en-au/professional/multimedia/table/comparison-of-common-contraceptive-methods.

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