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Tailoring contraceptive advice

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Women with contraception needs should be given information about/offered a choice of all contraceptive methods, according to NICE. Women should also be counselled regarding long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods.1 It is recommended that verbal and written information is provided.

It is worth considering that LARCS are more cost effective than the combined oral contraceptive pill even at one year of use.1 NICE advises that increasing the number of women who choose a LARC method may reduce numbers of unintended pregnancies.

Contraceptive counselling should be tailored to the woman and her needs. Furthermore, efficacy, risks and benefits, how to start and stop contraception should be discussed.1 Risk of sexually transmitted infections may be assessed.

Supporting patient choice
A 17 year-old college student, Shelley, attends the surgery to discuss contraceptive options. She has been taking the combined oral contraceptive pill; she admits she is forgetful with pills. She is currently sexually active and using condoms reliably; she has no concerns about sexually transmitted infections.

Shelley's sister has a contraceptive implant and she would like more information about this. Her friends have suggested that she may wish to consider Depo-Provera. What information does she need to help her make her decision?

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