Contraceptive counseling conversations: consider intentional questions

As a health care provider, you can help your patients make informed choices by consistently discussing all contraceptive options, including LARC options. By asking the right questions, you can support your patients in choosing a contraception that best fits their needs.4,5

An essential aspect of contraceptive counseling that helps your patients decide which method to choose is prioritizing their values, preferences, and lived experiences.4

In the shared decision-making model, both you as the health care provider and your patient are recognized as having valued expertise.4

Here are a few ways you can initiate this conversation with your patients:

Ask open-ended questions about your patient’s priorities and values related to their pregnancy goals and desired contraceptive features4

Share details about the medical contraindications, risks, and benefits for each method4

Reflect knowledge back to your patient about their desired attributes and how individual contraceptive methods may or may not satisfy those priorities4

Allow your patient to consider all their contraceptive options and determine which of these best meets their needs before they choose a contraceptive method4

Contraceptive counseling: What do medical societies recommend?

Now more than ever, discussing contraceptive options with your patients is an important topic. Many leading medical societies have outlined recommendations on best practices for counseling. Take a look below to learn more.

Want to find out more about one contraceptive option for your patients?

References & Abbreviations

LARC = long-acting reversible contraception; Ob/gyns = obstetricians and gynecologists; IUD = intrauterine device

References: 1. Quick Stats: Percentage of women who have ever used emergency contraception among women aged 22–49 years who have ever had sexual intercourse, by education—National Survey of Family Growth, United States, 2017–2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7004a7 2. Faustmann T, Crocker J, Moeller C, Engler Y, Caetano C, Buhling KJ. How do women and health care professionals view hormonal long-acting reversible contraception? Results from an international survey. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2019;24(6):422–429. 3. Lindberg LD, VandeVusse A, Mueller J, Kirstein M. Early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic: findings from the 2020 Guttmacher survey of reproductive health experiences. Accessed September 26, 2023. 4. Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women and Committee on Ethics. ACOG Committee Statement Number 1: Patient-centered contraceptive counseling. Obstet Gynecol. 2022;139(2):350-353. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000004659 5. Gavin L, Moskosky S, Carter M, et al; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Providing quality family planning services: recommendations of CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2014 Apr 25;63(4):1-54. 6. American Academy of Family Physicians. Preconception Care (Position Paper). 2015. Accessed September 26, 2023. 7. Ott MA, Sucato GS. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence. Contraception for adolescents. Policy statement. Pediatrics. 2014;134(4):e1244–e1256.