United States Medical Eligibility Criteria (US MEC) for Contraceptive Use, 2010
The United States Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010 (US MEC) is intended to assist health care providers when counseling women, men, and couples about contraceptive method choice. The US MEC provides guidance on the safety of contraceptive method use for women with specific characteristics and medical conditions. This document is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice; persons should seek advice from their health care providers when determining family planning options.
CDC went through a formal adaptation process to create the US MEC. In 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the first edition of the Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use. WHO has always intended for its global guidance to be used by policy makers, family planning program managers, and the scientific community as a reference when developing family planning guidance at the country or program level.
The US MEC has a companion document, U.S. Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, 2013 (US SPR), which addresses how to use contraceptive methods. While the US MEC provides guidance on who can use various methods of contraception, the US SPR provides guidance on how contraceptive methods can be used and how to remove unnecessary barriers for patients in accessing and successfully using contraceptive methods.
US MEC Resources
- Update to CDC’s U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010: Revised Recommendations for the Use of Hormonal Contraception Among Women at High Risk for HIV or infected with HIV. Source: MMWR 2012;61(24);449–452. CDC has updated the recommendations for hormonal contraceptive use among women at high risk for HIV or infected with HIV, based on new scientific evidence.
- 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. Source: MMWR. 2011;60(26):878–883. CDC has updated the recommendations for combined hormonal contraceptive use among postpartum women, on the basis of new scientific evidence.
- U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010. Source: MMWR. 2010;59(RR04):1–85. Provides guidance on whether women and men with particular medical conditions or physical characteristics can safely use certain methods of contraception.
These charts can be printed double sided, laminated, and used by health care providers when counseling women.
- English Version: Full color [DOC - 77KB]
- English Version: Black and white [DOC - 74KB]
- Spanish US MEC: Full color [PDF - 1MB]
- Spanish US MEC: Black and white [PDF - 678KB]
Other CDC Resources
CDC TV—A Message to Health Care Professionals: Teen Pregnancy. This video features teens who speak out about how teen pregnancy rates in the United States are still too high, and how providers can help.
iPhone/ iPad App
New Mobile Tool Available for CDC’s U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010
CDC has a new app which provides guidance for healthcare providers on the safety of contraceptive methods for people with certain medical conditions. The app is developed from the U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010 that includes more than 60 characteristics and medical conditions that may affect people seeking family planning services.