I’m back in school studying for my Doctorate of Nursing Practice—yes, it’s true, nurses can go all the way to the doctoral level! As a part of that degree I’m devising and implementing a project based on valid evidence or research. My project focuses on contraceptive education. Here’s why.
The rate of unintended pregnancy in this country still hovers at nearly 50 percent (and only 5 percent of those are because of true contraceptive failures—the other 45 percent are due to misuse or disuse of contraception). So, critical to my project is looking at what factors encourage women to be compliant, or not, with their birth control. One of the key factors is a woman’s understanding, expecting, and managing normal side effects of her chosen method. Let’s review the most common methods and their most common side effects (particularly the ones my patients notice).
So when it comes time to choose a contraceptive method, it is important to consider the side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider about the options available to you, the side effects you can expect, and how you plan to deal with them. If you are aware of the side effects and prepared for them, you will be more likely to continue the method and decrease your risk of unintended pregnancy.