Contraception Counseling:

What do medical societies recommend?

Contraception is an important topic, and many leading medical societies have defined recommendations for how to effectively counsel patients about the range of contraceptive options.

In their position paper on Preconception Care, the AAFP states, “Preconception care is primary care and it should be a priority for primary care providers in all settings.” The AAFP considers preconception care as “individualized care for men and women that is focused on reducing maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality, increasing the chances of conception when pregnancy is desired, and providing contraceptive counseling to help prevent unintended pregnancies.”1

The AAFP recommends that Family Physicians and Primary Care Providers become leaders in preconception care, as they are “ideally suited” for this task, having “an outstanding opportunity to address health issues (e.g. preconception risk reduction and chronic disease management) with women in multiple settings.”1

Selected AAFP Preconception Care Recommendations1:

Family Physicians and Primary Care Providers should:

  • Understand unintended pregnancy (UIP) risk factors and realities
  • Recognize how reproductive planning can reduce UIP risk factors
  • Incorporate preconception health risk assessment during care visits that are not specifically focused on women’s health issues
  • Present information on reversible contraceptive methods starting with the most effective methods followed by information on less effective methods

ACOG recommends counseling on all contraceptive options, including an implant and intrauterine devices, to all appropriate women at risk of unintended pregnancy.2

The AAP considers contraception a “pillar in reducing adolescent pregnancy rates”3 and recommends that pediatricians adopt practices that will help reduce postmenarchal adolescent unintended pregnancy.

  • Postmenarchal adolescent contraceptive counseling should include a broad range of appropriate contraceptive options3
  • Contraceptive options for postmenarchal adolescents should include long-acting reversible contraceptives such as the subdermal implant and IUDs3

Discover more information on birth control methods on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site.

Visit the CDC site

Click below to find resources for counseling on one contraceptive method.

Explore resources


1. American Academy of Family Physicians. Preconception Care (Position Paper). 2015. Accessed January 27, 2020.

2.American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Gynecologic Practice Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Working Group. ACOG Committee Opinion no. 642: Increasing access to contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices to reduce unintended pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(4):e44–e48.

3. Ott MA, Sucato GS. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence. Contraception for adolescents. Policy statement. Pediatrics. 2014;134(4):e1244–e1256.

This site is intended for health care providers in the United States, its territories, and Puerto Rico.

© 2021 Organon group of companies. All rights reserved.

US-XPL-115160 06/21