By Meghna Sebastian, MD, Baylor College of Medicine
November 18, 2020
Talking to Dr. Meghna Sebastian, you can hear the passion in her voice and the heart she has for working with adolescents – wanting to ensure each young person she sees has the care she or he needs and deserves. This includes talking with, educating and ensuring a young woman has the birth control method of her choice, allowing her to decide if and when she wants to become pregnant.
On November 18, we say #ThxBirthControl. Today, Dr. Sebastian shares with us why she practices medicine and chose to focus her practice on working with adolescents.
She came to Houston and joined Baylor College of Medicine in 2011, completing a fellowship in adolescent medicine and a residency in pediatrics. Today, she is an Assistant Professor, Section of Adolescent Medicine and Sports Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Sebastian provides medical subspecialty care for teens and young adults at Texas Children’s Hospital and the Baylor Teen Health Clinic. Dr. Sebastian believes that providing guidance in the health choices an adolescent makes, is the key to laying the foundation for a healthy adulthood. She focuses on providing holistic care and emphasizing on both physical and mental health.
With several locations throughout Harris County, the Baylor Teen Health Clinic provides free and confidential primary and reproductive preventative healthcare services for Harris County adolescents and young adults, ages 13 to 24. The clinic offers quality care provided by licensed medical professionals, licensed medical social workers, and community educators for the following services:
- Gynecological Services
- Birth control and family planning
- Sexually transmitted disease screening and treatment
- Primary healthcare
- HIV/AIDS education and screening
- One-on-one counseling sessions
As part of Dr. Sebastian’s work with adolescents, she focuses on quality improvement work surrounding long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) and the Teen Health Clinic staff. This includes improving the LARC counseling nurse practitioners provide to adolescents, ensuring health care professionals are comfortable with insertion and removal of LARCs, and increasing the number of patients who have a LARC.
A LARC has been shown to be the most effective method for pregnancy prevention and requires very little remembrance, which Dr. Sebastian says works well for young people given where they are in the stage of their life. These methods have been endorsed as safe and effective by numerous professional organizations. Additionally, should a woman decide to she is ready to become pregnant, a LARC has been shown to be very quickly reversable when removed.
As outlined in the 2011 Contraceptive CHOICE Project, when the barriers of cost, access, and knowledge of birth control and contraception are removed, women will choose the most effective and least user-dependent methods, which is a LARC. Women will continue using them, and they are highly satisfied with their contraceptive choice. By increasing the uptake of LARCs in women, we can decrease unintended pregnancy rates, and that may ultimately translate into better financial, economic, educational, and social situations for women and their families.
Dr. Sebastian says that when an adolescent has the ability to use their preferred method of birth control, they are also getting to achieve their life goals, such as graduation from high school. She is committed to making a difference in a young person’s life during these formative and critical years.
While several Baylor Teen Health Clinics are co-located at high schools, they are open to the community and have a Community Door which the public can access from the outside. Many of the patients who graduated high school continue to come back to the clinic for care due to the established relationship they have with the health care providers.
To find the nearest Baylor Teen Health Clinic to you and/or to make an appointment, visit their website.