Contraceptive options for women with a history of solid-organ transplantation

Transplantation. 2013 May 27;95(10):1183-6. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e31827c64de.


Women of reproductive age who have received a solid-organ transplant are at risk for unplanned pregnancy. Fertility can return as soon as 1 month after transplantation, and the baseline unplanned pregnancy rate in the United States is approximately 50%. Pregnancy, although not absolutely contraindicated in this population, carries risk greater than the general population and should be timed with regard to medication regimen and organ function. The Centers for Disease Control categorizes every form of contraception as Category 2-benefits outweigh risks-in women with an uncomplicated transplantation. There is a large range of contraceptive options, varying in drug formulation, route of delivery, and discrepancy between "perfect" and "typical" use. Long-acting reversible contraceptive methods include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and subdermal implants and show great promise for women with solid-organ transplant. These methods have excellent efficacy, eliminate user error, and, in the case of IUDs, have extremely low or no systemic drug absorption. Providers have historical concerns regarding the association of IUD and infection; however, modern studies have shown their safety in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients. Women with a history of solid-organ transplantation can be safely offered a wide range of contraceptive options to suit their individualized needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraception / methods*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices
  • Organ Transplantation*


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female