Contraception Management: Updates and Complexities in Contraceptive Care

Sarah McNeil, MD

Sarah McNeil, MD

Martha Simmons, MD

Martha Simmons, MD

Time and place: 12:30-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Room 214CD

About the presenters: Sarah McNeil, MD, leads the reproductive health curriculum for Contra Costa Family Medicine in California, and Martha Simmons, MD, is assistant professor of family medicine and community health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. McNeil and Simmons, the AAFP's Reproductive Health Care Member Interest Group vice chair and secretary, respectively, presented on this same topic at last year's FMX in Orlando.

Session overview: This session will highlight increasingly complicated cases involving the prescription of birth control. Those cases will provide the framework for using the CDC's Medical Eligibility Criteria (MEC). MEC tells family physicians and other providers about the safety of contraceptive choices for women with medical conditions.

"As women age, many develop medical conditions that affect the safety of some contraceptives. Thus, family physicians need to understand the risks of contraceptives for women with co-morbidities," the presenters said.

McNeil and Simmons also will talk about prescribing IUDs and emergency contraception, as well as review when to use the Quick Start Algorithm.

Why this session matters to you: Since most women try to prevent pregnancy for 20 years or more, contraceptive counseling is a routine and critical component of family medicine.

"Family doctors care for women from cradle to grave and contraceptive care is integral to most women's well-being at many points in their lives," they said. "As access to contraception becomes more challenging in our current political environment, it is essential that we are prepared to meet the needs of our patients. To provide this care effectively, we must understand the evidence behind prescribing the range of contraceptive methods."

The take-home: The presenters will emphasize that it is recommended family physicians always offer patient-centered contraceptive counseling. In addition, using the CDC MEC helps inform physicians about which contraceptives are the safest for their patients. Physicians are also strongly encouraged to consider which risks are cumulative, as well as identifying those that are unrelated.