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July 27, 2015

CDC survey: Teen girls' use of morning-after pill doubled in decade

According to findings, 1 in 5 sexually active teen girls aged 15-19 used Plan B at least once from 2011-2013

The percentage of teenage girls who have used emergency contraception - also known as the morning-after pill or Plan B - has more than doubled in a decade, according to a recent survey.

In the survey, conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and released on Wednesday, 1 in 5 sexually active teen girls aged 15-19 said they have taken an over-the-counter emergency contraception pill at least once between 2011-2013, up from 1 in 12 teen girls of the same age just a decade prior in 2002.


The National Survey of Family Growth is based on data from about 2,000 females and males ages 15 to 19 from 2011 to 2013.

The increase in over-the-counter emergency contraceptive use comes at a time when the overall number of teens having sex is down. 

In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved access to over-the-counter emergency contraception without a prescription or parental consent to all women with a potential to bear children.

Previously, women under age 17 needed a prescription to buy Plan B.

View the full survey findings here.