New Guide Makes Choosing the Safest Contraceptive Easier

September 16, 2011

Obstetricians and gynecologists now have a new guide that rates the safety of different contraceptives on a scale of 1 to 4 based on an individual woman’s health status, age, and preexisting medical conditions. The new guide was issued by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) and is based on the U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010.

Obstetricians and gynecologists now have a new guide that rates the safety of different contraceptives on a scale of 1 to 4 based on an individual woman’s health status, age, and preexisting medical conditions.1 The new guide was issued by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) and is based on the U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010.2

The guide features an easy-to-follow table that lists more than 65 medical conditions plus sub-conditions in alphabetical order and pairs each condition with 6 contraceptive methods. The combinations of medical conditions and contraceptives are rated on a scale of 1 to 4, with a rating of 1 indicating no restrictions for use and a rating of 4 indicating an unacceptable health risk to the patient.

The conditions listed in the new guide range from women’s cancers and chronic diseases to behaviors such as breastfeeding and smoking. The College, as well as the CDC, encourages obstetricians and gynecologists to evaluate the unique circumstances of each patient. The severity of the patient’s medical condition, her personal preference, and the effectiveness, acceptability, and availability of alternative contraceptive methods are all factors that must be considered.

More Information

U S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010

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New CDC Recommendations for Postpartum Contraceptive Use Extended Use of Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill
 

References:

References

1. Committee opinion no. 505: understanding and using the U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010. Obstet Gynecol. 2011;118:754-760.

2. Peterson HB, Curtis KM, Jamieson D, et al, for the Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2010;59(RR-4):1-86.