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    Counseling about side effects improves contraceptive continuation.

    NETWORK. 1991 Sep; 12(2):3.

    While family planning programs in Africa may pay great attention to motivating women to accept contraception, research indicated that more attention should be focused upon encouraging the continuation of contraceptive use. 2 studies partially funded by Family Health International (FHI) have revealed insufficient counseling about potential side effects of contraceptive methods to be a key reason for contraception discontinuation. A 1st study of 650 women acceptors in the Niger found 70% continuation after 7 months, with the most common reason for discontinuation among those terminating contraception being side effects and fear of side effects. Acceptors who felt that they were poorly counseled were twice as likely to end use. A study of 570 acceptors in the Gambia found a 72% continuation rate after 7 months, with discontinuation 3-4 times more likely where poor counseling was perceived. A 3rd study is planned for Senegal. The provision of improved acceptor counseling may both improve service delivery and reduce program costs. FHI report recommendations have prompted the Niger to emphasize counseling about side effects in its midwife training curriculum, and to pursue a public information campaign against rumors of contraceptive method side effects.
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