US Medical Eligibility Criteria (US MEC) for Contraceptive Use, 2016

The United States Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2016 (US MEC) includes recommendations for using specific contraceptive methods by women and men who have certain characteristics or medical conditions. The recommendations in this report are intended to assist health care providers when they counsel women, men, and couples about contraceptive method choice. Notable updates include the addition of recommendations for women with cystic fibrosis, women with multiple sclerosis, and women using certain psychotropic drugs or St. John’s wort; revisions to the recommendations for emergency contraception, including the addition of ulipristal acetate; and revisions to the recommendations for postpartum women, women who are breastfeeding, and women with known dyslipidemias, migraine headaches, superficial venous disease, gestational trophoblastic disease, sexually transmitted diseases, human immunodeficiency virus, or who are using antiretroviral therapy.

These recommendations for health care providers were updated by CDC after review of the scientific evidence and consultation with national experts who met in Atlanta, Georgia, during August 26–28, 2015. The information in this report updates the 2010 U.S. MEC (CDC. U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010. MMWR 2010:59 [No. RR-4]). Although these recommendations are meant to serve as a source of clinical guidance, health care providers should always consider the individual clinical circumstances of each person seeking family planning services. This report is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice for individual patients. Persons should seek advice from their health care providers when considering family planning options.

Recommendations about the use of hormonal contraceptive methods (including depot medroxyprogesterone acetate) and intrauterine devices among women at high risk for HIV were updated in April 2020 in the MMWR and here.

Downloads and Resources

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

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US MEC & US SPR App
New app released in May 2021! Includes new features that allow for the selection of multiple conditions and methods. The US MEC and US SPR app is an easy to use reference for CDC’s contraception guidance for healthcare providers. The app is available for iOS and Android operating systems.

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U.S. MEC Speaker Ready Slide Set
This slide presentation can be used by health care providers who want to increase knowledge about the US MEC.. The presentation and speaker notes can also be used or adapted to give presentations on the US MEC. This material is in the public domain and may be used and reprinted without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Powerpoint presentation available in ppt or pdf formats. If you would like to received continuing education credits, visit the training page.ppt icon[PPT – 8.86MB] | pdf icon[PDF – 2.01MB]

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Teen Pregnancy Prevention Speaker Ready Slide Set
This slide presentation can be used by health care providers who want to increase knowledge about the U.S. MEC, U.S. SPR, and Teen Pregnancy Prevention. The presentation and speaker notes can also be used or adapted to give presentations on the U.S. MEC, U.S. SPR, and Teen Pregnancy Prevention. This material is in the public domain and may be used and reprinted without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Powerpoint presentation available in ppt or pdf formats. If you would like to received continuing education credits, visit the training page. ppt icon[PPT – 14.4MB] | PDF – 5.51MB]pdf icon

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MEC Summary Chart (black and white) English pdf icon[PDF – 173 KB] | Spanish pdf icon[PDF – 537 KB]

MEC Summary Chart (color) English pdf icon[PDF – 323 KB] | Spanish pdf icon[PDF – 443 KB]

8 ½ by 14 charts can be printed double sided, laminated, and used by health care providers when counseling women.

For accessible version of the MEC Summary Chart, please see the full recommendations here.

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MEC Wheel pdf icon[PDF – 63 KB]
The MEC Wheel, other provider tools and MMWRs are available to order from CDC-INFO on Demand in limited quantities.