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Teen girls postponing sex, using more contraception, CDC says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed 2,300 teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 and found they were having sex later and more safely.

girl with condomEnlarge
Teenage girls in the United States are postponing sex and using better contraception, says new research. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images)

Teenage girls are waiting longer to have sex, with those who do using contraception more often, says new research.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed 2,300 teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19.

The results published in the CDC's journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that 57 percent of the girls never had sex - an increase from the 49 percent in 1995, reported the Associated Press.

The report also found that 60 percent of the girls used the most effective birth control methods, such as the pill, the patch or a vaginal ring, an increase from about half of teen girls in the mid-1990s.

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Condoms were only considered moderately effective.

"We know there have been declines in teen pregnancy, which is wonderful, and increases in abstinence among teens, which is really wonderful also," said lead author Crystal Pirtle Tyler, a CDC health scientist, according to Health Day.

"There has also been increases in contraceptive use."

There has been a large decline in teen birth rates in the US since 1990.

CBS News reported that teen pregnancies are at an all-time low at 34.3 births per 1,000 teen women ages 15 to 19 - a 9 percent decrease from last year's rates.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120503/teen-girls-postponing-sex-using-more-contraception-cdc-says