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Careful counsel: Management of unintended pregnancy


Monica O'Reilly, MS, MA, FNP, Holyoke Health Center, 230 Maple Street, Holyoke, MA 01040 Tel: 413-420-2862, 413-539-9535; Fax: 413-539-9535;


Purpose: To provide a guideline for the care of women with unintended pregnancies, highlight the magnitude of unintended pregnancy, identify the demographic population at highest risk, offer assessment and diagnostic information, and describe the importance and practice of comprehensive, nondirective pregnancy options counseling, including information on abortion, adoption, and parenthood.

Data sources: Extensive literature review of government publications, professional clinical, nursing, and medical journals and textbooks.

Conclusions: The practice of counseling women and couples in a nondirective manner and providing comprehensive overview of options is paramount and should be the standard practice for all clinicians, especially within organizations funded by Title X funds.

Implications for practice: As we strive toward diligent patient advocacy, it is essential that NPs implement and endorse the ethical provision of options counseling through promoting values clarification and continuing education.