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Skip Navigation LinksCurriculum for Addiction Professionals > Competency 3: Treatment Strategies for Working with Clients with an FASD > 5n. Appropriate Birth Control and Referral for Pharmaceutical Assessment

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Competency 3: Treatment Strategies for Working with Clients with an FASD

Adults

Appropriate Birth Control and Referral for Pharmaceutical Assessment

Pregnant African American woman with her hands on her round belly

Women with an FASD can be vulnerable to exploitation and unintended pregnancy. They may have sex to gain favor or to get financial help or housing. It can be difficult for them to use contraception effectively due to memory lapses, problems following instructions, or difficulty negotiating contraceptive use with a partner. Counselors can help clients evaluate their family planning needs and assist in obtaining reliable, long-term birth control methods

The counselor may need to accompany the client to a doctor's appointment to help her understand her options and choose the best one. One study found improved use of contraception among young women with an FASD by implementing a community intervention model of targeted education and collaboration with key service providers, and by using paraprofessional advocate case managers as facilitators.15

In some cases, pharmaceutical options may be appropriate. The counselor may want to refer the client for an assessment to determine whether she can follow a regimen of taking a pill every day or getting a shot every few months. It is also important to consider the possible physical impact, since persons with an FASD may have health problems and be prone to side effects.

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