Clinical Practice Guideline

United States Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use

United States Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2016

(Affirmation of Value, November 2016)

The updated U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraception was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was reviewed and categorized as Affirmation of Value by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Key Recommendations

The 2016 U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use (U.S. MEC) comprises recommendations for the use of specific contraceptive methods in individuals with certain medical conditions.These recommendations can be used when consulting with women, men, and couples about their contraceptive choices. These recommendations should be used to inform contraceptive decisions, and may not apply to the use of contraceptives for other purposes. Contraceptive methods are categorized for their appropriateness of use in a variety of medical conditions or circumstances.

Category 1 = Method can be used without restriction

Category 2 = Method generally can be used, follow up may be required

Category 3 = Method not recommended unless other more appropriate methods are not available or acceptable

Category 4 = Unacceptable health risk if method is used

See the full recommendation(www.cdc.gov) for detailed guidance.


These guidelines are provided only as assistance for physicians making clinical decisions regarding the care of their patients. As such, they cannot substitute the individual judgment brought to each clinical situation by the patient’s family physician. As with all clinical reference resources, they reflect the best understanding of the science of medicine at the time of publication, but they should be used with the clear understanding that continued research may result in new knowledge and recommendations. These guidelines are only one element in the complex process of improving the health of America. To be effective, the guidelines must be implemented.