Contraceptive Counseling: Best Practices to Ensure Quality Communication and Enable Effective Contraceptive Use

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Improving the quality of contraceptive counseling is one strategy to prevent unintended pregnancy. We identify aspects of relational and task-oriented communication in family planning care that can assist providers in meeting their patients’ needs. Approaches to optimizing women’s experiences of contraceptive counseling include working to develop a close, trusting relationship with patients and using a shared decision-making approach that focuses on eliciting and responding to patient preferences. Providing counseling about side effects and using strategies to promote contraceptive continuation and adherence can also help optimize women’s use of contraception.

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