Sexual Minorities at Higher Risk of Teen Pregnancy
(HealthDay News) – Adolescent sexual minorities other than lesbians use less hormonal contraception and continue to be at an increased risk for teen pregnancy, with the exception of lesbians, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Brittany M. Charlton, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues used data from the Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII) for 91,003 women born between 1947 and 1964 and 6,463 of their children who participated in the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS) to assess whether sexual orientation is associated with disparities in teen pregnancy and hormonal contraception use by adolescent females.
The researchers found that in the NHSII study, hormonal contraception use was lower and teen pregnancy was higher than in the GUTS study. Compared with their heterosexual peers, lesbians were less likely to use hormonal contraception as teenagers, while other sexual minorities were more likely to use hormonal contraception. The risk of teen pregnancy was higher for all sexual minority groups in both cohorts (risk ratios ranging from 1.61–5.82) except for lesbians in the NHSII study.
"Although teen pregnancy rates have declined over the last few decades in part because of increased use of effective contraception, there are still disparities by sexual orientation," the authors write.