Update to CDC's U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010: revised recommendations for the use of contraceptive methods during the postpartum period

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Jul 8;60(26):878-83.

Abstract

Initiation of contraception during the postpartum period is important to prevent unintended pregnancy and short birth intervals, which can lead to negative health outcomes for mother and infant. In 2010, CDC published U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010 (US MEC), providing evidence-based guidance for choosing a contraceptive method based on the relative safety of contraceptive methods for women with certain characteristics or medical conditions, including women who are postpartum. Recently, CDC assessed evidence regarding the safety of combined hormonal contraceptive use during the postpartum period. This report summarizes that assessment and the resulting updated guidance. These updated recommendations state that postpartum women should not use combined hormonal contraceptives during the first 21 days after delivery because of the high risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) during this period. During 21-42 days postpartum, women without risk factors for VTE generally can initiate combined hormonal contraceptives, but women with risk factors for VTE (e.g., previous VTE or recent cesarean delivery) generally should not use these methods. After 42 days postpartum, no restrictions on the use of combined hormonal contraceptives based on postpartum status apply.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Contraception / methods*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / adverse effects
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Contraindications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unplanned
  • Risk Factors
  • Venous Thromboembolism / chemically induced*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / prevention & control

Substances

  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal