Roughly one in four teen girls become pregnant at least once by age 20 and fully half of all pregnancies in the United States are reported by women themselves as unplanned. Not too good.

By posting some intemperate thoughts about sex, love, relationships, pregnancy, childbearing, the media, public policy, our dogs, and other topics, we hope to spark a two-way discussion about how best to bring down the high rates of teen and unplanned pregnancy in this country. And who knows…from time to time, we might even offer up a few cogent thoughts that will be helpful.

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20-Somethings, Contraception, Media, Popular Culture
January 13, 2017

On the most recent episode of Teen Mom 2, Chelsea tells the camera crew that she and Cole are expecting a baby. Not only are Chelsea and Cole ecstatic—so is the crew! Chelsea has been vocal about using the Mirena IUD as birth control in the past, but said that she had switched to the Pill and then stopped using birth control altogether because she wanted to “clean out her body” before she and Cole started trying to get pregnant.

“I was checking my ovulation with those ovulation tests,” she admitted. “We were being careful, we thought.” Even if you’re careful, the fertility awareness method of birth control is incredibly hard to do correctly! Fertility awareness includes daily tracking to determine the days that you can get pregnant, which includes tracking your body temperature, menstrual cycle, and using ovulation tests, like Chelsea did.

The good news is that if you want to start trying to get pregnant, you can return to fertility really quickly after going off birth control—no “cleansing of your body” is needed. A study of over 2,000 women who quit the Pill (after using it for an average of seven years) found that 21% were pregnant within one month and 79% were pregnant within a year. In fact, you can get pregnant immediately after missing just a few pills.

After removing the Mirena IUD, like Chelsea had, it takes the average couple about 4-6 months to conceive and after just one year of trying, approximately 85-90% of couples will conceive. It takes the longest for your body to bounce back to fertility if you’re a Depo shot user—it’s possible to get pregnant as soon as 12 weeks following the last shot, though for some users it can take around nine months for fertility to return.  But you can get pregnant immediately after stopping your birth control—while these numbers are averages, if you’re not using any method of birth control, that means you can get pregnant.

So if couples like Chelsea and Cole want to take a break from hormonal birth control methods and try the fertility awareness method (or use condoms) that’s up to them, but medically, it’s definitely not necessary. Stay tuned to Teen Mom 2 on MTV to see how Chelsea’s pregnancy progresses.

Authored by: Paige Whipple

Paige is the Coordinator of Entertainment Media at The National Campaign. She works with media partners in television and publishing to help them incorporate teen and unplanned pregnancy prevention messages into their work.

She came to The Campaign after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor’s in Mass Communication and Journalism. Paige worked at Baltimore Style Magazine for two years, wrote a bi-weekly column for Towson’s newspaper, and was a contributor for an online magazine, The DC Ladies. She also runs social media accounts for several Baltimore-based businesses as a freelancer.

She shares her alma matter with Amy Schumer and Mike Rowe—not bad company to be in. 

Other Recent Posts

January 11, 2017
Authored by: Marisa Nightingale

As The National Campaign’s Senior Media Advisor, Marisa Nightingale leads key partnerships with entertainment media executives to help harness the power of popular media to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy. She and her colleagues provide expertise, information, and hands-on help to media decision-makers whose content is most popular with teens, young adults, and their parents.

Marisa joined the Campaign in 1996, shortly after its founding, and is the architect of its nationally-recognized Entertainment Media program. She served as the program’s Senior Director for 12 years and continues to advise on strategy and cultivate message integration partnerships with outlets including NBC, FOX, ABC, The CW, Hulu, Marie Claire, Family Circle, Essence, Latina and more, with a special emphasis on reaching Latino audiences. Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaigns developed under her direction have won multiple awards and garnered millions of dollars in free placements. She played a leadership role in the conception, development and launch of "Thanks, Birth Control," a social media effort that engages individuals and organizations in a positive public conversation about all that birth control makes possible.

Prior to joining The National Campaign, Marisa was the Communications Director at Share Our Strength (SOS), a leading national voice in the fight against hunger. At SOS, she worked with journalists, chefs, corporate partners, and community organizations to address the causes and consequences of hunger and poverty. Marisa is a guest lecturer at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business and is a seasoned speaker on the role of media in preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy and promoting social change. She has served as a Campaign spokesperson on The Today Show, The View, The Ricki Lake Show, NPR, USA Today, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. Marisa graduated with honors from Yale University and lives in Washington, DC with her husband, two children and a lively mutt.

So who else was laugh-crying all the way through the latest episode of black-ish on ABC? If you missed Bow driving through the parking lot yelling “My baby’s broken! My baby’s broken!” drop everything and watch it immediately right here.  You’re welcome.This episode hit a nerve because it’s every...
Education, Media, Parents
January 09, 2017
Monique Rizer leads Opportunity Nation, a bipartisan, national campaign, which is comprised of more than 350 cross-sector organizations working together to expand economic mobility and close the opportunity gap in America. Opportunity Nation’s mission is to restore the promise of the American Dream...
20-Somethings, Contraception, Education, Public Policy, Stay Teen, Teen Pregnancy, Teens, Unplanned Pregnancy
January 03, 2017
Authored by: Andrea Kane

Andrea Kane is the Vice President for Policy and Strategic Partnerships at The National Campaign.  She is responsible for The National Campaign’s public policy program, as well as forging strategic partnerships with a range of public and private sector organizations.  During her time at the Campaign, she has helped launch The National Campaign’s work with community colleges, youth in foster care, and with Latino communities.

From 2001 through 2008, she was also affiliated with the Brookings Institution’s Center on Children and Families in various capacities. Before joining The National Campaign in 2001, Andrea served at the White House Domestic Policy Council as a special assistant to President Clinton. She has also worked at the National Governors’ Association, and at the state and local level in California, Texas, and Virginia.

She studied Government at Smith College, received a BA from Cornell University and an MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

In recent years there has been growing attention to the challenge of pregnancy and parenting among youth in and transitioning from foster care. As a reminder that data does matter, this interest has been driven in large part by data from several studies showing that youth involved in foster care...
Public Policy, State and Local, Teen Pregnancy
A group of teenage girls