Contraceptive Pearl: Updating Our Contraceptive Materials

RHAP has embarked on an update of our contraceptive materials. We aim to ensure our materials reflect the latest, best clinical evidence and align our with our core values, in particular patient-centered care.

We started with our most general and widely used contraceptive fact sheet, which includes all birth control methods. The old versions organized methods by their efficacy, and did not include all birth control options. Although some people prioritize efficacy, others feel pressured by clinicians who emphasize effectiveness over all other method attributes. Recognizing this issue, we wondered how we could present all contraceptive methods in a more patient-centered, inclusive way.

After gathering input from many clinicians, patients, and reproductive justice advocates, we revamped our “Your Contraceptive Choices” information sheet to list methods alphabetically rather than in descending order of efficacy. Because the same medication effect can be a “pro” for some patients and a “con” for others, we also shifted away from the pro/con verbiage toward more neutral categories. We included the needs of transgender people by mentioning testosterone where it’s relevant and highlighting methods’ effects on vaginal bleeding.

Please take a look at our new sheet and share your impressions with us. We value your feedback!



Your Birth Control Choices Fact Sheet



Birth Control Access. Power to Decide Website. Accessed October 15, 2020.

Dehlendorf C, Levy K, Kelley A, Grumbach K, Steinauer J. (2013) Women’s preferences for contraceptive counseling and decision making. Contraception, 88(2), 250-256. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2012.10.012. 

Gomez AM, Fuentes L, Allina A. (2014) Women or LARC first? Reproductive autonomy and the promotion of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 46(3), 171-175. doi: 10.1363/46e1614.

Higgins, JA. (2014) Celebration meets caution: LARCs boons, potential busts, and the benefits of a reproductive justice approach. Contraception, 89(4), 237-241. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2014.01.027.

Higgins JA, Smith NK. (2016) The sexual acceptability of contraception: Reviewing the literature and building a new concept. Journal of Sex Research, 53(4-5), 417-456. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2015.1134425. 



The Reproductive Health Access Project does not accept funding from pharmaceutical companies. We do not promote specific brands of medication or contraception. The information in the Contraceptive Pearls is unbiased, based on science alone.

Contraceptive Pearls

This monthly clinical e-newsletter highlights evidence-based best practice for contraceptive care

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