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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


A limited amount of provider tools are available to order from CDC-INFO on Demand.


New Mobile Tool Available for CDC’s U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010

mobile appDownload the U.S. MEC application for iPhone/iPad from the iTunes App Store.

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.

Other CDC Resources

References for Hormonal Contraception and HIV Acquisition, Transmission, and Disease Progression. [PDF - 157]

Make your clinic teen-friendly. Provide your adolescent patients with confidential, private, respectful and culturally competent services, convenient office hours, and complete information.

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.