Pelvic Exam or Physical Exams to Prescribe Oral Contraceptive Medications

Recommendation

Do not require a pelvic exam or other physical exam to prescribe oral contraceptive medications.

  • Hormonal contraceptives are safe, effective, and well tolerated for most women. 
  • Data do not support the necessity of performing a pelvic or breast examination to prescribe oral contraceptive medications.
  • Hormonal contraception can be safely provided on the basis of medical history and blood pressure measurement.  

Sources
Felicia H. Stewart, MD; Cynthia C. Harper, PhD; Charlotte E. Ellertson, PhD; David A. Grimes, MD; George Sawaya, MD;    James Trussell, PhD. Clinical Breast and Pelvic Examination Requirements for Hormonal Contraception. JAMA.      2001;285(17):2232-2239. Accessible at: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=193803(jama.jamanetwork.com).

Henderson JT, Sawaya GF, Blum M, Stratton L, Harper CC, Pelvic examinations and access to oral hormonal contraception.   Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Dec;116(6):1257-64.

Well-woman visit. Committee Opinion No. 534. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2012;120:421-4.