There is now a wide array of hormonal contraceptive options for women to choose from. GPs and other primary health providers are well placed to provide evidence based and balanced guidance to assist in appropriate individualised choice. Long-acting reversible contraception, particularly ‘fit and forget’ implants and intrauterine devices, provide very high efficacy, immediate reversibility and are safe for use by most women. They are, however, underused. Although most women can safely use combined hormonal contraceptives, history taking with reference to the international Medical Eligibility Criteria (MEC) framework is extremely important so that women at higher risk of venous thromboembolism, stroke and ischaemic heart disease can be offered alternative methods.
Modern Medicine – April/May 2019