The effect of long-acting reversible contraception on rapid repeat pregnancy in adolescents: A review

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102 Scopus citations


Repeat pregnancy within 2 years of a previous birth or abortion occurs in approximately 35% of recently pregnant female adolescents. The majority of these pregnancies are classified as unintended with about half ending in births and the remainder in abortions. Rapid repeat pregnancy (RRP) is associated with increased maternal and neonatal morbidity and continues a cycle of economic deprivation for young women and their families. Immediately following a pregnancy, most young women report an intention to avoid pregnancy in the near future, but many change their minds or become ambivalent within months. Lack of contraceptive use is more common among those teens that resume sexual intercourse earlier, live with a male partner, had a preterm delivery, or had an intended teen pregnancy. Adolescents who do not initiate a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method (intrauterine device or contraceptive implant) have up to a 35 times increased risk of RRP compared with their peers using LARC. Risk of RRP is decreased when LARC methods are initiated earlier after an abortion or within the postpartum period. This review will focus on the prevalence of RRP, the risk factors for RRP, and the effectiveness of strategies to reduce unintended RRP including counseling and early initiation of long-acting contraceptive methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S47-S53
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Contraception
  • Contraceptive implant
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)
  • Pregnancy intendedness
  • Preterm delivery
  • Rapid repeat pregnancy (RRP)
  • Teen pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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