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Provider Counseling in Hormonal Contraception

Contraception; ePub 2018 Sep 15; Craig, et al

Provider counseling regarding hormonal contraception often does not include information about all available methods, nor comprehensive information about side effects, benefits, or logistics of use. Researchers performed a mixed methods analysis of data collected as part of the Patient-Provider Communication about Contraception study in which reproductive age women and their providers were recruited from 2009-2012. They investigated the content and process of contraceptive counseling surrounding combined hormonal contraceptive (CHC) methods (combined oral contraceptives, the ring, and the patch). They found:

  • 342 women were included; 152 (44%) had a preference for a CHC prior to their visit, 127 (37%) had a preference for a non-CHC methods, and 63 (18%) had no existing method preference.
  • Most women who reported preferring a CHC chose that method.
  • Women were inconsistently counseled about the range of CHC methods.
  • Side effects and benefits of methods, as well as strategies to enhance successful use of the chosen method, were inconsistently discussed.
  • In only 73% of visits in which a woman chose a CHC did the provider assess the patient’s ability to use the chosen method correctly.


Craig AD, Steinauer J, Kuppermann M, Schmittdiel JA, Dehlendorf C. Pill, patch, or ring? A mixed methods analysis of provider counseling about combined hormonal contraception. [Published online ahead of print September 15, 2018]. Contraception. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2018.09.001.