Informed Choice in Family Planning: Helping people decide
The best decisions about family planning are those that people make for themselves, based on accurate information and a range of contraceptive options. People who make informed choices are better able to use family planning safely and effectively. Providers and programs have a responsibility to help people make informed family planning choices. Decisions about childbearing and contraceptive use are most likely to meet a person's needs when they reflect individual desires and values, are based on accurate, relevant information, and are medically appropriate-that is, when they are informed choices. To make informed choices, people need to know about family planning, to have access to a range of methods, and to have support for individual choice from social policies and community norms. Informed choice offers many benefits. People use family planning longer if they choose methods for themselves. Also, access to a range of methods makes it easier for people to choose a method they like and to switch methods when they want. People's ability to make informed choices invites a trusting partnership between clients and providers and encourages people to take more responsibility for their own health. Enabling clients to make informed choices is a key to good-quality family planning services.