Updates to the US Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use

  • Unplanned Pregnancies.

    Unplanned Pregnancies.

    According to the US SPR report, "approximately 45% of all pregnancies are unintended, with higher proportions among adolescent and young women."

  • Unplanned Pregancies, High Costs.

    Unplanned Pregancies, High Costs.

    The report stated that unplanned pregnancies have a higher risk for poor mother and baby outcomes, and have high government healthcare costs, amounting to $21 billion in 2010 alone.

  • Recommendations for Intrauterine Devices

    Recommendations for Intrauterine Devices

    The purpose of these guidelines is to cover “common, yet sometimes controversial or complex, issues regarding initiation and use of specific contraceptive methods.”

  • Lidocaine Use.

    Lidocaine Use.

    One area of the report notes that “Paracervical block with lidocaine might reduce patient pain during IUD insertion."

  • Hormonal Contraception Recommendations.

    Hormonal Contraception Recommendations.

    Another area emphasizes that women should begin or restart hormonal birth control no earlier than 5 days after taking ulipristal acetate (UPA) emergency contraception pills.

  • Pregnancy Testing.

    Pregnancy Testing.

    Women should avoid sex or use barrier contraception for 7 days or until her next period, whichever is first, following emergency contraception to avoid pregnancy, according to the updated guidelines. The woman should have a pregnancy test if there is no withdrawal bleed after a three-week period.

  • Dual Protection.

    Dual Protection.

    The guidelines also caution that “dual protection from the simultaneous risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) also should be considered."

  • Defense Against Sexually Transmitted Infections

    Defense Against Sexually Transmitted Infections

    According to the report's authors, "Consistent and correct use of the male latex condom reduces the risk for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydial infection, gonococcal infection, and trichomoniasis.”

  • Health Care Providers Play a Role in Education.

    Health Care Providers Play a Role in Education.

    To reduce unintended pregnancy rates, the report recommends educating women and their partners on choosing contraception, and making sure they are consistently and correctly used.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  has recently released updated guidelines to the 2013 US Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use (US SPR), published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


1. Curtis KM, Jatlaoui TC, Tepper NK et al. US Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, 2016. MMWR. 2016; 65(4):1-66.

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