Model for effective contraceptive counseling on campus

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3 Scopus citations


Why does contraception fail? In 1978, 55% of all pregnancies in the United States were unintended! This overwhelming problem of birth control failure has also affected the college coed. In addition to information on available contraceptive methods, what should effective counseling by the college health care provider consist of to alleviate this problem? Just as there are guidelines on the use of each contraceptive method, there must also be guidelines on how to effectively counsel a student about the methods available. Effective vs. noneffective contraceptive use was studied at Rutgers University by comparing women who experienced birth control failure to those who did not, while using the same method. It was found that for a woman to be motivated to effectively and efficiently use her contraceptive method, she must be satisfied with its esthetic properties, trust its effectiveness, and be comfortable with its safety. Counseling that instills fear into women that their method will cause bodily harm or that their method is not optimally effective will influence these women to ineffectively use that method. Emphasis placed on side effects, failure, morbidity, and mortality of a birth control method will impart these negative feelings in the user. Health care providers must not counsel women solely on the negative aspects of each contraceptive, but rather emphasize the positive aspects so the student will accept the method. Only with positive, realistic counseling will a woman be motivated to use her method properly to prevent unintended pregnancy. This paper presents a model of important aspects that should be discussed when counseling a college student concerning the various contraceptive methods available. Its basic content can be modified to meet the needs of each individual college campus.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)119-121
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of American College Health Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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