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Infographic: Why Sex Ed for Teens May Need to Start Earlier

by Ronnie Polidoro /
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Birth rates among teenagers have plummeted since 1999, but despite this downward trend the Centers for Disease Control says more can be done to prevent teenage pregnancy - especially for teens ages 15 to 17.

"Although we have made significant progress reducing teen pregnancy, far too many teens are still having babies," says CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

According to the CDC almost 1 in 4 teens in this age group never spoke with their parents or guardians about sex and more than 80 percent of sexually active teens had not received any formal sex education before they had sex for the first time. Teens who give birth are more likely to have repeat teenage pregnancy and less likely to finish high school or earn a GED.

Maggie Fox, Catherine Kim, Hayley Goldbach of NBC News contributed to this article.

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