The UK MEC tool, developed by the Faculty of Sexual and Reprodutive Healthcare, sets out advice for doctors on when different types of contraception can be prescribed, covering intrauterine contraception, progestogen-only contraception, combined hormonal contraception and emergency contraception.
GPs can use the tool to check evidence on effectiveness of forms of contraception, and for clarification on patients' suitability.
GP contraceptive advice
The impact of more than 50 characteristics or pre-existing medical conditions - including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and others - on patients' suitability for different types of contraception is covered in the guidance. Updates have been included about how bariatric surgery, organ transplant, RA and other issues can affect contraception.
Dr Stokes-Lampard, who is also the RCGP spokeswoman for women’s health, said: ‘With 80% of women accessing advice on contraception in general practice, the UK MEC promises to be an invaluable tool for GPs and our teams in order to provide appropriate contraception for our patients in a safe and timely manner.
‘At a time when GPs are facing intense workload pressures, the UK MEC will support GPs and give them the confidence that the contraceptive care they are providing is safe and tailored to the individual needs of the patient.’