May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

Friday, May 25, 2018 8:05 PM

By San Juan Basin Public Health

May is designated as National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month and locally we have much to celebrate.

Significant progress in teen pregnancy rates has been achieved locally as well as statewide in the past nine years. La Plata County saw a 35 percent drop in the teen birth rate from 2009 - 2013, which continued to drop to the 2013-2015 teen (15- to 17-year-olds) birth rate of 3.4 percent. Colorado saw a 40 percent drop statewide. Much of this success is tied to the Colorado Family Planning Initiative (CFPI): a five-year program that has provided IUDs and other long-acting removable contraceptive devices (known as LARCs) for low-income teens and young women in Colorado.

San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) has provided 165 LARCs to La Plata and Archuleta County teenagers since 2009.

Despite recent declines, teen pregnancy still remains an issue.

Teen pregnancies bring substantial social and economic costs to our communities. Unintended pregnancy has been identified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as one of Colorado's 10 Winnable Battles. SJBPH will continue our efforts preventing teen pregnancy through our Sexual Health Clinic. The clinic is welcome to all and provides annual exams, sexually transmitted infection (STI) screenings, pregnancy tests, all birth control methods, infection checks, tobacco cessation, and health and fitness education.

The current clinic hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, and alternating Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon at the Durango location, and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs location.

The clinic operates on a sliding-fee scale and accepts private and public health insurance as well as donations.

San Juan Basin Public Health is a local public health agency, governed by a seven member local Board of Health, serving all residents of Archuleta and La Plata counties. For 70 years, San Juan Basin Public Health has improved the health and environment of the Southwest Colorado.