With all the technology available to assist patients in remembering to take their pills, wouldn’t it make sense to think that missed pills are a thing of the past? That, apparently, is not the case, though. According to the National Survey of Family Growth, in 1 month’s time, 15% of oral contraceptive users reported missing 1 pill and another 16% reported missing 2 or more pills. And that is in only one month. Just what do we know about the risk for an unintended pregnancy after pills are missed? According to The Guttmacher Institute, 13% of women receiving abortions had relied on oral contraceptives in the month of becoming pregnancy. But as yet, there’s no direct evidence about the risk of pregnancy following missed pills. Therefore, we look at surrogate measures—such as ovulation, follicular development, and hormone levels—extrapolating from there on what to advise patients. Recent studies have looked at the effectiveness of counseling and reminders in helping users remember to take their pills daily. What practical tips might we learn from those studies? And, as ever, what are the current best missed-pill recommendations to share with your patients?
Shared decision-making sometimes has snags. You are, after all, the expert on the science. But your patients may believe misinformation they have been told, or may have misinterpreted in something they have read. When you find yourself feeling the need to correct your patient, or saying “that’s wrong/incorrect,” “no,” or “but,” consider instead the following strategy developed by Patty Cason and Abigail Aiken.
Your practice is likely serves many ‘digital natives’—millenials, who rely heavily on electronic apps and online sources for their healthcare. The trend has only grown since a 2015 tech survey reporting that female millennials specifically spend 200% more time on health and fitness apps than do all other users. The rapid developments in digital health sites and apps have transformed the provider-patient relationship such that today you are not only responsible for providing information but also for guiding patients’ search for and use of digital information. How can you advise your patients about the utility and the downfalls? Brian Nguyen and Leo Han recently curated a guide to digital resources relevant to family planning in the form of websites, mobile applications, and social media in Contraceptive Technology.
Now available in a new 21st edition, this well-known text with more than 2 million copies in print has been the leading family planning resource... Read more
After a brief hiatus in 2019, we look forward to bringing you new and improved Contraceptive Technology conferences in 2020! More dynamic and interactive presentations and clinical workshops that answer your most pressing, thorniest, or simply most frequent clinical questions The latest updates as well as reassessed standards of practice A learning environment that is innovative, interesting, and enjoyable Look for a ‘save-the-date’ announcement from the authors of Contraceptive Technology later this year. Want more regular notification? Sign up for our free monthly updates bringing you critical analyses of clinical issues.