Little is known about the use of the vaginal ring and transdermal patch in representative adolescent populations although these contraceptives are supposed to be a good option for that age group. The aim of this study was to determine the use of the vaginal ring and that of the transdermal patch and to compare these with the use of oral contraceptives (OCs) and emergency contraception in adolescent girls residing in Finland.
As part of the Adolescent Health and Lifestyle Survey a questionnaire was mailed to a representative sample of girls aged 14, 16 or 18 years residing in Finland. Of these 3029 (72%) responded.
The use of the vaginal ring (0.9%) and that of the transdermal patch (0.1%) were uncommon whereas OCs were commonly resorted to (20%). Only 0.6% of girls aged 16 and 2.5% of those aged 18 used the vaginal ring or the transdermal patch. Fifteen percent of girls had ever used emergency contraception.
The vaginal ring and the transdermal patch are rarely used by adolescents. Our findings suggest that these novel contraceptive methods have not been adopted by family planning services.