It is essential for all women to access accurate information concerning the different options and use of contraceptives, mainly because it helps you understand your general reproductive health. The knowledge also gives you control over your life by helping you avoid pregnancies until You are ready. The most effective way to pass relevant information on different birth control options is by conducting counseling sessions where you interact with a health professional specializing in women's reproductive health. During the counseling, the professional will inform you of all contraception options available for use, the modes of functioning, and possible side effects. It is vital for you and the healthcare provider to remain open with each other and touch on each detail to ensure that you are well informed by the end of the session.
For the best counseling experience, it is crucial to consider a reproductive health clinic that provides a welcoming atmosphere, where you interact freely with your doctor and their medical assistants without fear of judgment or uncomfortable conversations. At All Women's Care, we are passionate about providing you with all the necessary details and guidance you need to choose a contraception option that works for you. Our team believes in providing you with a safe and friendly environment where all your needs are well taken care of. With years of experience providing services for women's reproductive health in Los Angeles, you can rely on us to deliver the best counseling services that will empower you to make an informed decision when choosing a contraceptive method.
Typically, we encourage any patient to schedule a counseling session with us at any time to learn more about the different types of contraception available, and which method works best for her. Therefore, you can choose a walk-in consultation or a scheduled appointment that lets you interact with a certified medical professional who will take you through the different processes that lead up to the counseling period.
The counseling period may vary depending on the kind of information you seek, and your availability for a full session. For example, you may receive all the information you need in one appointment meeting, especially if you already have background information about converting birth control and how it generally works. On the other hand, if you are new to information concerning reproductive health, we may need to systematically go over different information topics to ensure that you fully understand each contraception option before choosing one. In most cases, you may need to set at least two appointments with us to help you gather all details on birth control during the counseling appointment, and then get started on your method of choice on the second appointment.
Before we begin on the informative part of counseling with you, we will take you through an array of different questions that helps us personalize your case and develop the most appropriate recommendations for you, as the counseling session proceeds. The areas we aim to evaluate are:
Your Medical History
The first time you come in for a consultation, we will request you disclose any relevant information concerning your medical history, including any health risks and complications you have experienced in the past. Moreover, providing a medical history includes informing us of any known allergic reactions you have to medication administered in the past, mainly if it contains synthetic hormones. Thus, we will also ask whether you have experienced any severe side effects when using a method of birth control in the past, to guide us through different options that may not serve you in the best way.
Your medical history is essential in our goal to provide appropriate counseling for you. It enables us to eliminate any options we have in our general guidance structure if we discover that it is not compatible with your body. Apart from asking about any previous conditions you have had, we also need to know if you are currently on any medication. Such information will help in distinguishing whether the possible contraception options available will work well with the drugs prescribed to you to prevent a risk of complications. Thus, your designated health provider will benefit from your medical history details, as it informs him/her of the best birth control options to present to you during counseling.
Your General Reproductive Health
Upon completing your medical history assessment, you may also need to undergo a general checkup with us to help us run through your general reproductive health before going in for your contraceptive options counseling. For example, you may agree to undergo testing for sexually transmitted infections to ensure that you are ready to choose contraception methods without the worry of complications arising from the infections.
Undergoing such checks is beneficial for you and your sexual partner, primarily because it gives you peace of mind even when you decide on a method that works best for your situation. Therefore, we encourage you to bring your partner during the counseling session, if possible, to ensure that you both undergo preliminary testing. This way, we will obtain more information on whether either of you is suffering from any STIs, and viral conditions, including HIV, to help us guide you on making informed and beneficial choices for you.
Checking your general health also has a direct link to your medical history because we rely on any vital information you have disclosed to us in the initial stage. As a result, we will prioritize checking on vital factors like your blood hormone levels, any underlying conditions like high blood pressure that could be aggravated by specific contraceptive options, and your reproductive health. You can also choose to have a pap smear test to ensure that your cervix is healthy. Additionally, suppose you have given birth before. In that case, we will also ask whether you are breastfeeding your child or whether you have experienced any unusual symptoms like that could lead to complications if specific contraception modes are incorporated.
Ultimately, undergoing a general medical checkup is not mandatory before a counseling session. However, it goes a long way in helping us create specific information and birth control solutions to help you take charge of your reproductive health and avoid unplanned pregnancies.
Your Goals in the Near Future
We are also keen to learn about your aspirations in the foreseeable future because it helps us advise you appropriately on the best contraception method. The information is essential because it lets us know whether you plan on starting a family soon for us to dispatch the best information on available options for your situation.
For example, suppose you are a high school or college student who does not want to get pregnant in the next five to eight years. In that case, we recommend the long-acting reversible contraceptives because they will serve you consistently for the desired period or until you change your mind and choose differently.
Moreover, we will emphasize the importance of making an independent decision concerning your birth control method for teenagers who are still underage. Hence, throughout the counseling session, we will support you in making a personal choice that is not influenced by your parents or sexual partner. Our goal is to ensure that you receive the most comfortable type of birth control option because you will be the one to bear all experiences, including the possible unpleasant side effects that may affect you. While we welcome you to visit us with your parent, guardian, or partner, we will inform the person who accompanies you of your complete autonomy throughout the counseling session, and when getting started on contraception.
Conversely, if you are married and have already started having children, we may advise you to choose an option that lets you retain control at all times, especially if you and your spouse decide to plan to have another child. With an easily controlled contraception method like the hormonal patch and vaginal ring, among others, you work on the best time frame for you and your aspirations.
Your Current Lifestyle
Doubtlessly, some women have more active and involved lifestyles than others, meaning that they may be more likely to become inconsistent with birth control administration. For example, if you work or are in school, you may have varying schedules every day that interfere with the period set to take your birth control pills, primarily if you work late or wake up extremely early. You may also travel frequently, meaning that you will not always have access to obtain a new supply of your preferred contraception medication.
Subsequently, it is necessary to explain your lifestyle to the health provider attending to you, especially if it is busier than the average person. Upon receiving such information, the professional will be more aware of the contraception options that will serve you more efficiently, without risking on getting pregnant because of inconsistent periods of administering the birth doses.
Your Preferred Method of Contraception
Before proceeding to the counseling process, we will also engage you to tell us of your level of understanding and knowledge of contraception and how it works. If you have used birth control methods before, you are also likely to have a preference. For example, you may explain to us that you need a non-hormonal method that will not attract extreme side effects and will not require constant attention or administration into the body. In such a situation, the counseling experience will be more fluid and informative, as you will have a good idea of what to expect and what questions to ask. In return, we will also provide straightforward advice on your specific preferences for your satisfaction.
Nevertheless, suppose you seek out new information. In that case, we are happy to take you through all types of contraception available for you, including permanent options like tube tying and hysterectomy for women who do not desire to have more children or any at all.
The Process of Counseling
Once we have completed the preliminary interactions that help us gather more information about your health and preferences, we will proceed to begin the counseling session. Usually, the entire process may take some minutes or hours, depending on your interest in different methods of contraception and the questions you ask. We conduct contraception options counseling with several goals in mind. Firstly, we aim to equip you with accurate information that will educate you on each method of birth control, what hormones are applicable, and how pregnancy is avoided. We do this to ensure that all your doubts and myths are quashed, as they are among the leading hindrances to women taking charge of their reproductive health.
Secondly, we aspire to be as open as we can with you, meaning that we will be ready to inform you of any side effects and complications you may experience with each contraceptive in use, depending on your body. We will also explain the cause of such side effects and the chances of causing severe health outcomes, although they are rare.
We also aim to provide you a chance to exert independence on whichever method you choose, by encouraging you to ask questions. This way, you get more information on each contraceptive option to help you settle on a method that appeals to you, and gives you confidence in your selection.
Some of the necessary steps in our counseling sessions include:
Providing General Information on All Available Contraception Options
Once we begin the counseling session, our first step will be to list available birth control methods and their administration methods and expected side effects. We classify contraception options into how long they last in your body, and whether you need to administer them every day.
The first category includes Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC). These contraceptive options protect from unwanted pregnancy for a long time, ranging from three months to seven years. Among the most common types of LARC methods is the depo-injection that supplies hormone Progestin to your bloodstream to prevent ovulation and cervical permeability by thickening the cervical mucus. It is a suitable LARC method to try out as it lasts for up to three months in your body, giving you the chance to change it after the three months if it starts posing challenges for you.
However, once administered, it is slightly prohibitive because you will have to wait for the hormone supply to deplete at the end of the three months. Consequently, if you experience severe side effects, you may undergo challenging experiences until the depo shot supply depletes. Nevertheless, it is a highly effective contraception option that protects against pregnancy with high success rates.
We will also mention the Intrauterine Device (IUD) as another LARC option. Usually, women who prefer non-hormonal contraceptives will benefit from IUD use, as it offers both hormonal and non-hormonal devices for use. During counseling, we will be candid about the IUD insertion is expected to experience, as it involves an invasive procedure to place the device inside your uterus.
For most women, it is often an unpleasant experience that involves some cramping and discomfort in the vagina as the doctor's speculum holds the vaginal walls open during insertion. However, our professional healthcare providers will disseminate the myths and exaggerations about the pain and discomfort of IUD insertion by giving a detailed explanation of how the procedure goes. We will also inform you of your pre-treatment processes that will leave you relaxed and ready for the process. The counseling session will also disclose more information on the advantages of IUDs, especially for women looking to avoid pregnancy for a long time.
The last type of LARC options we will inform you is the hormonal implant placed in your arm and gradually releases hormones for up to three years. The healthcare provider taking you through counseling will explain the process of inserting the implant, the expected healing time, and when you can have sex after the implant is placed to ensure that the method works efficiently. Since it is a hormonal method, your body may need to adjust to it, meaning that we may advise you to abstain from intercourse for a while, until the Progestin hormone syncs with your cycle to prevent ovulation.
Apart from the Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives, we will also educate you on other options like birth control pills and the importance of taking them consistently for effective results in avoiding pregnancy. Moreover, other options like the hormonal patch and the vaginal ring will also be explained during counseling to ensure that you are well equipped before making a final decision on a suitable contraceptive method.
Another important topic we include in the initial stage is educating you on Emergency Contraception or the morning after pill. Recently, the emergency pill has become available in the market, creating a quick-fix option for a person who has unprotected sex without the cover of an effective birth control option. Thus, we will inform you of the dangers of prolonged use of emergency pills, and the irreversible effects that they cause to the body, mainly because they contain large hormonal dosages meant to be used only in emergencies. With the information you receive, you will be able to avoid the misuse of the morning-after pills and settle for a safe and effective birth control method.
Giving Our Recommendations
After mentioning all types of contraception and their side effects, we will use the pre-counseling interactions and tests to make a suitable contraceptive recommendation for you. For example, if you are good at sticking to a strict schedule and prefer an oral mode of administering contraceptives, we recommend birth control pills for daily intake. The option will serve you well, as long as you remain consistent with your input. On the other hand, if you prefer a method that requires little to no interference or remembrance to administer, we recommend any of the LARC options, mainly because they will serve you for a long time before replacing them.
Recommendations will also vary depending on your health history. For example, if you are prone to severe reactions to copper, we will advise you to avoid the Copper IUD, which may lead to the inflammation of your uterine walls. If you have had difficulty with bone density, leading to more risks of bone fractures, we will discourage you from choosing the depo-shot, as its effects may aggravate the condition and create new complications. Generally, our recommendations serve to guide you when making the final decision. Therefore, they are not mandatory to follow unless you have an underlying condition that limits you to these recommended options.
Formulating the Contraception Plan
Depending on the contraception option you choose, we will also develop the birth control plan by the end of the counseling session. A program ensures that you remain updated and reminded of your checkup and contraceptive replacement appointments to ensure that you have a constant supply.
For example, if you choose the hormonal patch as your preferred option, we will guide you on how to place the piece on your skin, when to remove it to allow your monthly period to continue normally and when to get new supplies. Moreover, a contraception plan prevents unwanted pregnancies effectively, mainly because you remain consistent in administration, to help your body continue with its acquired functioning.
Benefits of Contraception Options Counseling
Doubtless, coming in for a counseling session provides several advantages for you, as you will educate yourself better on the available birth control options for your use. With this information, you receive an empowering tool for your life because you control when to have children. In return, you will focus on developing yourself and working on your life goals until you are ready to start a family. Other advantages of seeking contraceptive counseling include:
- You receive professional information that is free from myths and exaggerations.
- You will have all your questions answered in an open and non-judgemental environment.
- We understand your personalized needs and preferences.
- You will learn how to sustain efficiency in administering contraception.
Contact a Women's Reproductive Health Clinic Near Me
Having an unwanted pregnancy can significantly set you back in life, as it exposes you to make difficult decisions concerning your unborn child. Moreover, having unprotected sex without any contraception option in effect may cause severe anxiety and stress, even when you are not pregnant. Therefore, it is crucial to go for contraception option counseling to equip you with the knowledge you need to start a birth control plan. At All Women's Care, we provide professional guidance sessions from skilled and experienced healthcare providers who are compassionate and supportive of all our clients in Los Angeles, California. We focus on giving you comprehensive details concerning available contraception options to help you control your reproductive health and avoid unwanted pregnancy. For more information, call us today at 213-250-9461.