Care Provider Handout

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Birth Control -

How Care Providers Can Help

Be attentive to regular and new health care needs:

  • Help patients schedule regular gyn/breast exams, mammograms or testicular/prostate exams.
  • Remind clients once a month to do breast self-exam or testicular self-exam. Provide pamphlets with pictures or videotapes.
  • Help clients obtain over-the-counter barrier methods such as water-based lubricants and condoms, in addition to prescription birth control methods. Keep extra supplies in the house where clients can get them.

Be prepared for changes in the client's normal menstrual pattern:

  • More frequent periods
  • Skipped periods
  • Very heavy periods - "flooding" & "gushing"
  • Have menstrual supplies on hand to deal with heavier or more frequent bleeding.

Be prepared for changes in eating patterns:

  • Some methods, like pills, cause an increase in appetite. Work with patients to notice the change and stay on a healthy diet.

Help patients watch out for side effects of new methods:

  • Ask the doctor for specific side effects to watch for.
  • Find out which ones are dangerous.
  • Ask how long the patient should watch out for side effects.