Adolescent and family planning.
This review of family planning and adolescence proposes 1) that parents, teachers, and nurses should make sex education available to preadolescents, and 2) family planning services should be provided to adolescents as a preventive social measure. The objectives of such a strategy would be the following: to educate parents and guardians on the physical, mental, and social well-being of adolescents; to create awareness among adolescents of physical, psychological, and physiological changes they are undergoing; to improve the quality of life for adolescents through sex education; to make family planning acceptable and available to adolescents; to reduce the high incidence of self-medication, promiscuity, and sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers; to reduce the high morbidity and mortality arising from unwanted adolescent pregnancies; to reduce the incidence of abandoned babies and juvenile delinquency; to avoid later secondary infertility. Adolescence is conceptualized as including 3 stages: preadolescence (10-12 years of age), early adolescence (12-16 years), and late adolescence (16-19 years). The contraceptives that should be available to adolescents include the IUD, oral contraceptives, diaphragm, vaginal spermidides, and condoms. In addition, abstinence, coitus interruptus, and the Billings method can be taught.