Oral Contraceptives

The Challenges, Risks, and Benefits of Oral Contraceptives

CME Information

Learning Objectivesexpired

After participating in this educational activity, participants should be better able to:

  1. Identify the currently available oral contraceptives and their benefits and risks
  2. Provide counsel to appropriate patients on emergency contraceptive products including their role in pregnancy prevention, efficacy, and safety
  3. Create individualized plans to prescribe oral contraceptives for patients based on their needs, lifestyles, comorbidities, and reproductive plans



In the United States, unintended pregnancy remains a major public health problem that has not declined in recent decades. Although approximately 70% of fertile, sexually active women in this country are using reversible contraceptive methods to avoid pregnancy, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended. Although most women use some form of contraception during their reproductive years, many use it incorrectly or inconsistently or discontinue its use. These represent the leading causes of unintended pregnancy. Patient-clinician discussions about contraceptive options have the largest influence on product selection, as well as adherence to, and general satisfaction with the medication regimen. Primary care clinicians are often asked to prescribe oral contraceptive pills for many of their female patients. Considering the high unintended pregnancy rate in this country, patients need to be appropriately educated on the available oral contraceptive options so they can select one that best suits their lifestyles and reproductive plans. This activity will help primary care providers be aware of the currently available contraceptive options, recommend options based on individual needs, wants, and existing health conditions, and provide education and counsel to their patients on their use.



This activity has expired and is no longer available for CME; however, we hope you still enjoy the education.