Frame Messages Positively 

In addition to discussing risks, side effects, and bleeding changes, remember to discuss the advantages and non-contraceptive benefits of contraception such as the potential for prevention of uterine, ovarian, or colon cancer, and treatment of dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, and acne.

Patients often mistakenly believe the following:

  1. Amenorrhea with hormonal contraception is unsafe

  2. All contraception is equally effective

  3. Pregnancy is safer than contraception (it's natural)

  4. Contraception adversely impacts fertility

  5. Patients are less fertile than they truly are

Instead of disagreeing, use the Finding the Yes! model and then adding factual information.

 

Example:"My mother says it's not healthy to skip my period. I don't think I should go on the pill because I know that sometimes makes people miss their period."

 

Try: "Yes, your mother is completely right! When you are not using birth control with hormones in it, it is important to get your period. I'm so glad you know that! Interestingly, if someone is using hormonal birth control (like the method we're talking about), it is actually very healthy for the uterus." You can always follow this with visual aids like this one.

Example: "All contraception is equally effective."

Respond with a visual aid that shows relative effectiveness. Examples can be found here

Example: "I don't want to go on birth control because I heard it messes with your ability to get pregnant."

Try: "Yes, I hear that from my patients a lot! I can see that it is important to you to be a parent some day, and you don't want anything getting in the way of that. You're right that one of the methods, the shot, can affect your ability to get pregnant even after you stop. All other methods do a great job of preventing pregnancy while you're using them, and as soon as you stop, your ability to get pregnant will go back to whatever is normal for you immediately!"

Los Angeles, CA
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