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Parents May Be Poor Source of Birth Control Info

Reuters Health

By Alison McCook

Monday, May 3, 2004

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Parents often have mistaken ideas about contraception, and could be passing those fallacies on to their children.

A recent poll found that less than half of parents believe that condoms are very effective at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, roughly the same amount think oral contraceptives prevent pregnancy nearly every time when used properly, and only 40 percent think the Pill is safe.

When used correctly, condoms are up to 97 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Among Pill users, that figure exceeds 99 percent, according to the report published in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Parents' inaccurate perceptions of the effectiveness of condoms and oral contraceptives may be putting their children at risk, study author Dr. Marla Eisenberg told Reuters Health.

"If young people hear that condoms and contraceptive pills don't work, they may be less likely to use them if they do become sexually active, which places them at risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections," she said.

Article: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_17505.html