The acne medication isotretinoin is a known teratogen and it is recommended that women taking the drug use two forms of contraception. Nevertheless, isotretinoin-exposed pregnancies still occur, largely in women using contraceptives with high failure rates.
To educate women about different contraception methods, US researchers developed a one-page information sheet covering eight popular approaches to birth control. They then evaluated the tool through a survey of 100 women aged 18–45 years visiting a dermatology practice.
The women’s contraceptive knowledge – including their awareness of different methods and assessment of each method’s effectiveness – increased significantly after they had viewed the information sheet. The researchers conclude in JAMA Dermatology (online, 4 February 2015)
that the sheet “may be a useful addition to efforts to prevent isotretinoin-induced birth defects”.