Removing unnecessary medical barriers to contraception: CDC report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to removing unnecessary medical barriers to contraception use by people with certain characteristics or medical conditions. The CDC is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of its U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use (MEC), with an exclusive article published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Women’s Health.

The CDC has updated the MEC recommendations over the past decade based on new evidence. It has collaborated with national partners to disseminate and implement the guidelines and has conducted surveys of health care providers to assess changes in attitudes and practices around contraception safety and provision.

“While the recommendations include necessary restrictions based on evidence, most contraceptive methods can be safely used by most people, even those with medical conditions,” state Kathryn Curtis, Ph.D., and coauthors from the CDC. “Therefore, providing access to the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods through patient-centered counseling and shared decision-making can improve quality of care and allow people to find the contraceptive method that best meets their needs.”

“The CDC remains diligent about updating its recommendations and applying the latest data to areas that may currently lack a high-quality evidence base. The article by Curtis et al. provides a look at future considerations and efforts underway by the CDC to facilitate dissemination and implementation of the MEC recommendations,” says Journal of Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA.