Issues related to teen sexuality affect not only the adolescents themselves, but also their partners, family, and society in general. The articles presented here on adolescent contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth are intended to help providers address these issues with their young patients. Our contributing authors are all energetic, experienced adolescent health providers and active members of the Society for Adolescent Health Medicine eager to share their knowledge and expertise.
In the past decade, there have been significant changes to the methods of contraception available to adolescents. Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, and Susanne Martin, MD, review these options, including the recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of ulipristal acetate, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUDs). Efficacy, common side effects, and contraindications to use of these and other contraceptive methods are also discussed.
Taraneh Shafii, MD, MPH, Gale R. Burstein, MD, MPH, FAAP, FSAHM, and I review techniques and tools for interviewing adolescents about risk behaviors, focusing on three sexually transmitted infections that can be easily diagnosed and treated in the primary care practice: chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas. Additionally, we discuss how expedited partner therapy can be used to decrease the prevalence of chlamydia, the role of nucleic acid amplification tests, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update on gonorrhea treatment.
John B. Steever, MD, and Emma Cooper-Serber, LMSW, MPH, have written a very thorough review of topics related to the care of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth. Current stories in the media about adolescents being bullied to the point of suicide and the political discourse around legalizing gay marriage have brought the struggles of the GLBT community into the purview of the American public. After reading this article, the primary care provider will be well prepared with data, interview techniques, and resources to guide adolescents through their many questions of sexual identity and orientation.
I hope that these articles will collectively serve as a handy resource for addressing common adolescent reproductive health concerns that you see in practice.