Sexual and reproductive health

Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use

Fifth edition


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Publication details

Number of pages: 267 pages
Publication date: August 2015
Languages: English, French, Russian
Price: CHF 40.00 / US$ 48.00 Developing countries: CHF 28.00
ISBN: 978 92 4 154915 8


Other language versions



This document is part of the process for improving the quality of care in family planning. Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use (MEC), the first edition of which was published in 1996, presents current WHO guidance on the safety of various contraceptive methods for use in the context of specific health conditions and characteristics. This is the fifth edition of the MEC – the latest in the series of periodic updates

This edition is divided into two parts. Part I describes how the recommendations were developed and Part II contains the recommendations and describes how to use them. The recommendations contained within this document are based on the latest clinical and epidemiological data. Several tools and job aids are available from WHO and other sources to help providers use these recommendations in practice

Related tool

Related guidance

This publication was Highly Commended at the BMA Medical Book awards in 2016