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Teen Sexual Activity Unchanged, but Condom Use Up Slightly

Teen sexual activity, contraception, experiences mostly unchanged from 2002 to 2006-2010

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Sexual activity, contraceptive use, and sexual experiences in teenagers were similar in 2002 and in 2006-2010, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in the Vital and Health Statistics Series.

Gladys Martinez, Ph.D, from the National Center for Health Statistics of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed the national estimates of sexual activity, contraceptive use, and births among teenagers aged 15 to 19 from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) in 2006 to 2010. Data were collected through in-person interviews of 2,284 female and 2,378 male teenagers.

The investigators found that, in 2006 to 2010, 43 and 42 percent of never married female and male teenagers, respectively, had sexual intercourse at least once, with no significant change from 2002. A method of contraception was used at first intercourse by 78 and 85 percent of female and male teenagers, respectively, and condoms remained the most popular method. Teenage contraceptive use was mainly unchanged since 2002 but there was an increase in males using only condoms, and in use of a condom together with a hormonal contraceptive. In addition, the percentage of female teenagers using hormonal methods other than a birth control pill at first intercourse increased significantly to 6 percent.

"Compared with data from 2002, the 2006-2010 NSFG shows that fewer changes occurred in the determinants of pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease risk (sexual activity and contraceptive use) as well as the nature and circumstances of sexual experiences," the authors write.

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