AHF Convenes Consensus Conference on Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) in Latin America and the Caribbean

About 16 million adolescent girls between 15 and 19 give birth each year. In low- and middle-income countries, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15 to 19. The Latin American region has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies worldwide. Teenage pregnancies in Latin America are linked to a higher incidence of maternal complications during pregnancy and delivery and children of adolescent mothers are at increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight and neonatal mortality. One of the WHO’s core recommendations for preventing early pregnancy and adverse reproductive outcomes is increasing the use of reversible contraception.

In August, the Americas Health Foundation (AHF) convened a meeting of six Latin American experts to review existing barriers and develop practical recommendations concerning policy fixes for encouraging the increased use of LARCs by Latin American women, particularly adolescents, to stimulate greater knowledge and awareness, and increase both access and use of LARCs in Latin America, thereby reducing the rate of unplanned pregnancies and adverse reproductive outcomes. The resulting article, “The Use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception in Latin America and the Caribbean: Current Landscape and Recommendations” is currently under review for publication.