- Establish rapport with each patient, use open-ended questions, ask patients what matters most to them about a method, and provide access to the range of methods.
- Invest in the patient’s experience, rather than in a particular contraceptive method or outcome. You will learn from patients and colleagues as you proceed through training.
- Consider the quality of your counseling from the patient’s point of view. Data shows patients are more likely to be satisfied with counseling and to continue using their selected method if they felt their provider:
- Respected them as a person,
- Listened to their values about their method,
- Centered their values and preferences,
- And gave them enough information to make a decision (Dehlendorf 2018).
- Improve access by minimizing unnecessary tests and visits to obtain contraception.
- Ensure patients have the right to prompt IUD or implant removal for any reason, without judgment or resistance from their provider.
- Understand the medical eligibility, risks and side effects associated with both contraception and pregnancy to accurately inform patients.
- Ensure that you offer all methods as part of routine contraceptive counseling for all interested patients, including for adolescents, transgender and gender diverse patients. Offer all patients condoms to reduce STI risk and emergency contraception, regardless of the contraceptive method chosen.
- Respect a person’s autonomy to decide the right time to discuss contraception for them, as people seeking abortion services may not desire contraceptive counseling on the day of abortion. Be mindful of the history of contraceptive coercion that has particularly impacted communities of color, and continues to this day.
- Provide patients with instructions for home care, medications, contraception, warning signs, and emergency contact information to help minimize patient stress, phone calls, and need for a follow-up appointment following routine aspiration