How The Supreme Court Roe Ruling Has Changed Birth Control Trends Among Teens

Teens have always had a wealth of birth control options, but the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade has caused many across the country to make a mad dash to their gynecologists for contraception, according to U.S. News & World Report. Doctors are reporting an increase in demand for long-acting reversible contraceptives, like intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants.

Most abortions are now outlawed in 14 U.S. states, per the New York Times. Many of these states make no exceptions for rape or incest. In states where abortion is allowed but limited, it's often only allowed in the early stages of pregnancy before a woman knows she is pregnant. With so many restrictions on women's bodies, more people are turning to longer-term birth control methods, and this includes teens. 

Doctors around the country are reporting a huge surge in teen appointments for contraception — even teens who aren't yet sexually active (via U.S. News & World Report). Planned Parenthood's online chatbot that caters to teens, Roo, saw double the usual amount of birth control questions come in the day that Roe was overturned. Online contraceptive appointments went up by 150% that day, and appointments specifically for IUDs rose by a whopping 375%.

The trend of long-acting reversible contraceptives

There's been an increase in teen demand for long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), even before the Supreme Court ruled against Roe (via U.S. News & World Report). Research from Rutgers University's School of Public Health showed that while just 3% of 15- to 19-year-olds used LARCs from 2006-2010, that number went up to 15% in the period from 2015-2019. While there's not yet data on teen usage of LARCs since Roe was overturned, the ripple effects of such a policy change are clear.

IUDs for teens are becoming increasingly recommended by doctors. They're incredibly effective in preventing pregnancy, last a long time, and don't require remembering to take a pill every day (via Nemours Teen Health). Some can even last up to 10 years, and for those who need birth control for other reasons than preventing pregnancy, IUDs and implants are great options, according to Healthline. They can help regulate the menstrual cycle, relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), manage endometriosis, and reduce your risk of ovarian cancer and ovarian cysts.

State laws are changing rapidly, making it hard to know what might change in the next week or month. Some teens are feeling safer knowing they'll be protected against pregnancy for years to come, they told U.S. News & World Report. Parents are getting peace of mind, too, as they look ahead to an uncertain time for their children.