Because it has become easier to buy them, more sexually active teens are now using the morning-after pill.

Out of five teenage girls who have an active sex life, more than one uses the emergency contraceptive, a significant increase compared with previous statistics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new study that analyzed sexual activity among teenage boys and girls and saw a dramatic decline in the rates of engagement in sexual intercourse. Less than 50 percent of Americans aged 14 and up have had sex. This is lower compared with rates during the late '80s. In addition, since 1991, birth rate in teens has gone down to 57 percent.

Despite the significant decline in sexual activity among American teenagers and teen pregnancies, health officials note that these teenagers still aren't using the IUD, which is the most effective method of contraception, and that the rate of teen birth still stands higher compared with those of other developed countries.

In the new study released by the CDC, the researchers surveyed more than 2,000 American teenage boys and girls ages 15 to 19 from 2011 to 2013. In addition, the researchers looked at 1,770 young adults ages 20 to 24 and asked them about their sex lives when they were in their teens.

One important part of the study showed that there has been an increase in the rate of teenagers using contraceptives the first time they have sex.

In 2011 to 2013, 79 percent of teenage girls and 84 percent of teenage boys had used some sort of contraception the first time they had sex.

There were more 18- and 19-year-old females who used contraceptives during first sexual intercourse than the younger, 17-year-olds — 93 percent of 18- to 19-year olds and 77 percent of 17-year-olds.

Among the boys, the older age group also thought to use contraception, while the younger age group did not — 99 percent of those aged 18 to 19 and 82 percent of those aged 17 and younger.

The data, when compared with rates gathered over the past decade, has shown improvement. In 2011 to 2013, almost all female teenagers (97 percent) who had sex for at least once, used a condom.

The method of emergency contraception in females has more than doubled over the past decade, from eight percent in 2002 to 22 percent in 2011 to 2013.

The new study reveals other significant changes with regard to teenage sexual activity among American boys and girls. While statistics are improving, experts are still concerned at the health risks and other factors affected by teenage sexual activity, and, possibly, early pregnancy. 

Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.