Considerations for a heterosexual female would involve a detailed discussion on the different forms of contraception and the benefits and limitations of each. The social worker didn’t discuss what safe sex practices are, but should’ve really talked with the patient about her options what she thinks would work best for her.
I agree that considerations in conversation with a heterosexual female would involve discussion about contraception, but want to note that the most effective forms of contraception do not facilitate safer sex practices. A thorough discussion with a heterosexual woman might also include obtaining a brief history of any past pregnancies, their outcomes (and the patient’s feelings about that), current partner(s), past and current use of contraception (and how the patient did/didn’t like them), as well as thoughts regarding her feelings about future childbearing. The term “safer sex” means different things to different people, so it would be critical to clarify exactly what the provider means – or to use more specific terminology in discussions. Even if the patient isn’t currently sexually active it would be important to provide at least a brief education related to navigating potential sexual encounters during and following treatment. Of course, cultural issues related to sexual activity need to be explored and considered, too.
The more I think about these discussions, the more I realize why doctors may not conduct them as often as would benefit a patient – they are complex!