Talk contraception: Enabling meaningful conversations with your healthcare professional is a discussion aid which has been developed in collaboration with Dr Stephanie Cook, to help you prepare effectively for your contraceptive consultation.
It has been designed to help you prepare for your contraceptive consultation effectively, provide some guidance on how best to communicate your needs and help you ask the right questions to ensure you leave your consultation feeling confident in the contraceptive option that has been prescribed for you!
There are around fifteen forms of contraception available in the UK. Understanding your options and knowing what to ask your healthcare professional will help you get the information you need during your consultation so that in partnership with your healthcare professional you can find the contraceptive method which is most suitable for you and your lifestyle
This guide sets out some points for you to consider before your appointment, provides some guidance around potential questions that you may want to ask your healthcare professional and some tips to keep in mind after your visit.
If you feel that you would like to start a family at some point, how soon in the future do you think that might be?
Which methods of contraception do you think you would prefer? Which aspects of using a contraceptive method do you think you might find difficult?
Do you suffer with heavy or painful periods? Or how would you feel if your periods were to change? Contraception can influence your periods making them lighter, heavier, irregular, or even stop all together.
Having some key information to hand about your medical history before you go into your consultation will help move the conversation along quicker and give you more time to discuss the contraceptive options that you and your healthcare professional decide might be best for you. It's not essential that you have the following information available at the point of your consultation, but you may wish to go prepared with some of the following.
Your blood pressure
In order to assess wider health considerations, details of whether you smoke or vape.
Any medication you take, including any current contraception (you can take along pictures of the boxes for easy reference)
Do you suffer from frequent headaches or migraine?
In order to understand your possible risk of, for example, STIs, details of when last had a change in sexual partner
Your medical history and any relevant family medical history
We've prepared a handy information sheet for you to fill in before your appointment
Raising the subject of contraception with a healthcare professional can sometimes feel embarrassing – or you may simply not know what to ask. Remember, healthcare professionals are here to help. Here are some tips to help guide your conversation with them:
It is important to find a contraceptive method which fits in with your lifestyle and future plans. Depending on your own personal circumstances, you may also want to consider asking your healthcare professional some of the following questions to ensure that your chosen contraceptive method is suitable for you
You need to be comfortable and happy with the method you choose to ensure you receive the
contraception that suits you and your body and gives you the level of birth control you require.
No contraception delivers 100% pregnancy prevention.
It is important to follow up on your contraception as guided by your healthcare professional. And once you have started with your contraceptive method it is important to monitor it to make sure you feel it is suited to you and your lifestyle.
It can take a little time for your body to get used to a new contraceptive and you may experience side effects when you begin. If you have any concerns, speak to your healthcare professional. Stopping use of your contraceptive could put you at risk of unplanned pregnancy. Keep a record of what you are experiencing and when, and speak to your Healthcare Professional to discuss what other options are available if you both agree you might be better suited to another method.
Reporting of side effects: If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card scheme at https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
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