How Are Contraceptive Guidelines Updated?

Contraceptive risks and benefits are determined in many ways. Ultimately the risks have to be weighed in based on an assessment of all the current research studies as well as medical reports. Experts who publish papers, and our professors and mentors highly govern how we gynos think about contraceptive prescribing. But there is actually a very complex method of insuring that the medical and scientific evidence they base their teachings on is current. Most contraceptive practices in the US are based on the guidelines that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control (DCD) update. The CDC uses a system called the Continuous Identification of Research Evidence (CIRE) system to make sure that the most up to date research is used in their decision making. first there is the research, then there is the issuing of guidelines that will explain to health care providers how to use the research published. The evidence is weighed based on the strength of the studies done. If the studies were large, well done, and the statistical interpretation is accurate, recommendations are deemed reasonable. The US Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use (SPR) is the summary of those guidelines that actually help in the actual prescription of contraceptive advice. In truth it's not just gynos who guide the SPR, but also family physicians, nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners, epidemiologists, physician assistants, and even pediatricians that help make these decisions. Lots of questions still remain, and new ones come up all the time. For instance bariatric surgery is relatively new, so when the new guidelines were made they had to make recommendations regarding patients who have had weight loss surgery. Anyone with a new side effect can report it to the FDA So next year at your gyno visit, there may be new news regarding contraception, and that is an important reason to still see your gyno for gabbing.


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