Birth Control – Patient Education Overview

Accidental pregnancy is a widespread problem in the United States with almost 50 percent occurring in women using some type of contraception, according to the National Survey of Family Growth.

Failure can be explained by inconsistent or incorrect usage, method discontinuation (often due to cost or lack of prescription) and failure of the actual method as well as misunderstanding one’s fertility cycle. Proper patient education is the key.

A frank discussion between women and their healthcare providers must take place with thorough explanations about particular methods of contraception under consideration. Patient education is the key.

To answer “What’s right for me?” your discussion about birth control options must take into account the following parameters:

  • Protection rates against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases
  • Medical contraindications
  • Side effects
  • Benefits/convenience
  • Effectiveness and how long it takes to become effective
  • When does fertility occur and reoccur
  • Cost

Contraception techniques can be broken down into categories:

1) Reversible

  • Barrier Method
  • Hormonal Method
  • Device
  • Combination device and hormonal method

2) Irreversible (permanent)

  • Surgical for women, for men

3) Miscellaneous methods

  • Cycle timing
  • Withdrawal
  • Spermicidal creams
  • Fertility while nursing


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