Skip to Main Navigation Skip to Section Navigation Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer
  Home > Adolescence > Adolescent Health Care > Key Points: Sexual Health Care

Adolescent Health Care


Who Needs to Know? Confidentiality in Adolescent Sexual Health

When it comes to sexual health care, what are adolescents' views of confidentiality? What are the limits of confidentiality in the health care context, and how can providers improve their practice to build trust? ACT for Youth reviewed recent research to find out.


Formatted for Screen Readers

AAP Recommendations
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes that IUDs and contraceptive implants are appropriate and safe for adolescents who do not choose to be abstinent. AAP recommends that pediatricians become familiar with counseling, insertion, and/or referral for these methods. The following announcement links to the full policy statement and technical report:

AAP Updates Recommendations on Teen Pregnancy Prevention


Key Points for Adolescent Sexual Health Care

The following points may help New York State clinicians integrate sexual health care for adolescents into regular practice.
  1. While minors should be encouraged to involve a parent or other trusted adult in sensitive health care decisions, in New York State adolescents may consent to contraceptive services, STD and HIV services, prenatal care, and adoption. There is no parental involvement law for abortion services in New York State. (Guttmacher Institute, An Overview of Minors' Consent Law; NYSDOH letter regarding minor consent for STD and HIV prevention and treatment [PDF])
  2. Routine internal pelvic examinations are not needed to safely prescribe hormonal birth control in healthy, asymptomatic patients. (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists [ACOG] Committee Opinion Number 534, Well-Woman Visit)
  3. Regular cervical screening is not recommended in healthy, asymptomatic patients before age 21, regardless of sexual activity status. (ACOG Committee Opinion Number 534, Well-Woman Visit)
  4. The Intrauterine Device (IUD) and contraceptive implants are safe and appropriate methods of contraception for adolescents. These methods are highly effective and have high rates of user satisfaction and continuation. (ACOG Committee Opinion Number 539, Adolescents and Long-Acting Reversible Contraception: Implants and Intrauterine Devices, and see sidebar)
  5. There are no contraindications to using Emergency Contraception (EC), though it is recommended that breastfeeding women who take the EC pill ellaOne avoid giving a baby breastmilk for one week. There is no evidence that EC causes birth defects or otherwise harms a pregnancy when taken by a woman who is already pregnant. (Emergency Contraception: A Last Chance to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy [PDF])
  6. Hormonal birth control can be initiated at any time of the month, provided the patient has a negative pregnancy test and condoms are used as back-up for the first seven days. This is often referred to as Quick Start. (Quick Start Algorithm)
  7. According to New York State Public Health Law, a health care practitioner who diagnoses Chlamydia infection may prescribe and dispense antibiotic drugs to the patient's sexual partner(s) without examining the patient's partner(s). (NYS Department of Health - Expedited Partner Therapy)
Copyright © 2022 ACT for Youth Center for Community Action. All rights reserved. Website and Database Development by RMF Designs