How Can a Partner Help?
The client’s partner is welcome to participate in counseling and learn about the method and what support he can give to his partner. A male partner can:
Assure every client that she is welcome to come back any time—for example, if she has problems, questions, or wants another method; she has a major change in health status; or she thinks she might be pregnant.
General health advice: Anyone who suddenly feels that something is seriously wrong with her health should immediately seek medical care from a nurse or doctor. Her contraceptive method is most likely not the cause of the condition, but she should tell the nurse or doctor what method she is using.
- Agree on a date for her next injection in 3 months (13 weeks) for DMPA, or in 2 months (8 weeks) for NET-EN. Give her a paper with the date written on it (or dates, if she is self-injecting and taking home more than one injection device). Discuss how to remember the date, perhaps tying it to a holiday or other event or circling a date on a calendar.
- Ask her to try to come on time. With DMPA she may come up to 4 weeks after the scheduled injection date and still get an injection. With NET-EN she may come up to 2 weeks after the scheduled injection date and still get an injection. With either DMPA or NET-EN, she can come up to 2 weeks before the scheduled injection date.
- She should come back no matter how late she is for her next injection. If more than 4 weeks late for DMPA or 2 weeks late for NET-EN, she should abstain from sex or use condoms, spermicides, or withdrawal until she can get an injection. Also, if she has had sex in the past 5 days without using another contraceptive method, she can consider emergency contraceptive pills (see Emergency Contraceptive Pills).