Objective: To provide guidelines for health-care providers on the use of contraceptive methods to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Outcomes: Overall efficacy of cited contraceptive methods, assessing reduction in pregnancy rate, risk of infection, safety, ease of use, and side effects; the effect of cited contraceptive methods on sexual health and general well-being; and the cost and availability of cited contraceptive methods in Canada.
Evidence: Medline and the Cochrane Database were searched for articles in English on subjects related to contraception, sexuality, and sexual health from January 1988 to March 2003, in order to update the Report of the Consensus Committee on Contraception published in May-July 1998. Relevant Canadian Government publications and position papers from appropriate health and family planning organizations were also reviewed.
Values: The quality of the evidence is rated using the criteria described in the Report of the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination. Recommendations for practice are ranked according to the method described in this Report.