Service Delivery

Ensuring high-quality services is vital to any family planning program that provides oral contraceptives (OCs). A client who is considering starting a method needs to be informed of the most appropriate contraceptive options and then carefully screened to ensure she is medically eligible to use her chosen method.

If a woman chooses OCs, her health care provider needs to counsel her on the side effects and benefits and provide strategies to help her initiate and continue using the method effectively. For example, providers must be able to carefully explain what a client should do if she misses one or more pills. Counseling women about possible bleeding changes and other side effects with OC use is an important part of providing the method. Bleeding changes, in particular, are among the most common method-related reasons for women discontinuing hormonal contraceptive methods.
In addition to determining medical eligibility and counseling clients on OC use, service providers must also know how to properly store and manage OCs and how to promote OC use to the community. Family planning service providers must possess a range of knowledge and skills to effectively meet each client’s unique needs.

The Service Delivery section of the Oral Contraceptives Toolkit houses counseling tools, job aids, and reference materials to help service providers perform these tasks. Many of these resources are also helpful for training service providers on OC provision and improving communication between providers and clients. These materials will help service providers:

  • Counsel clients on a range of contraceptive options
  • Determine whether a client is medically eligible to use OCs
  • Counter myths and misinformation about OCs with effective counseling messages
  • Instruct clients on how to use OCs correctly and on what to do if they miss pills
  • Meet the unique family planning needs of clients living with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Do you have a comment about this section of the Toolkit or a new resource you’d like to suggest? Please share your thoughts through the feedback form.