Contraception in Adolescence


This week’s expert:
Dr Kathy McNamee, Medical Director, Family Planning Victoria; Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University

Drawn from Dr Terri Foran’s interview with Dr Kathy McNamee on the Healthed Podcast, ‘Women and Children’s Health Update

Specific issues of importance in consultations about contraception with an adolescent:

– Confidentiality – adolescent patients need to know they are entitled to confidentiality and the circumstances where that might not apply eg mandatory reporting. They need to know they are entitled to their own Medicare card from age 15 (can also stay on their parents’ Medicare card as well). From age 14, parents/guardians cannot access the adolescent’s medical records unless the patient gives consent.

– Consent to both sex and contraception. Consent is generally competence based (the Gillick competence). In general if a young person presents themselves for contraception that is evidence of competence. Check there is no coercion for sex. Important to be aware of state-based legal restrictions re age of consent and mandatory reporting. Adolescents under age 18 can consent to any ...

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