Contraceptive Technology and Reproductive Health Series: Home Page Contraceptive Technology and Reproductive Health Series Back to FHI Website
Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
Introduction Contents Post-Test References Go To Presenter Info

Goals

Section 1
Section 2

- Introduction
- Objectives
- Goals
> Eligibility Criteria
- Who Can Use
- Conditions
- Counseling
- Myths
- Side Effects
- IUD Use
- Complications
- Complications

Section 3

Summary

Previous pageNext page

Section 2 - Client Screening and Counseling

WHO Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use

Category
Description
When clinical judgement is available When clinical judgement is limited
1
No restriction for use
Use the method under any circumstances
Use the method
2
Benefits generally outweigh risks
Generally use the method
3
Risks generally outweigh benefits
Use of method not usually recommended, unless other methods are not available/acceptable
Do not use the method
4
Unacceptable health risk
Method not to be used

Source: WHO, 2004.
Slide 22


The World Health Organization has developed medical eligibility criteria for the safe use of various contraceptive methods. Providers use these criteria in deciding whether it is appropriate for a woman with a particular medical condition to use the contraceptive method in question. For each contraceptive method, medical conditions are classified into four categories based on the risks and benefits associated with use of that method by women having those medical conditions.

The WHO eligibility criteria use the following four categories to classify medical conditions:

  • Category 1: For women with these conditions, the method presents no risks and can be used without restriction.

  • Category 2: For women with these conditions, the benefits of using the method generally outweigh the theoretical or proven risks. Women with these conditions generally can use the method, but monitoring by the provider may be appropriate in some cases.

  • Category 3: For women with these conditions, the risks of the method generally outweigh the benefits. Women with these conditions generally should not use the method. However, if no better options for contraception are available or acceptable, the health care provider may judge that the method is appropriate, depending on the severity of the condition. In such cases, careful monitoring by the provider is essential.

  • Category 4: For women with these conditions, the method presents an unacceptable health risk and should not be used.

In some cases, a particular condition is assigned to one category for initiation and another for continuation of the method. In other words, for certain conditions, the category depends on whether a woman with the condition wishes to initiate the contraceptive method, or whether a woman already using that method develops the condition.

Under circumstances where clinical judgment is limited, as when DMPA is distributed by community health workers, these categories may be further simplified, as shown on the slide:

  • Women with conditions classified as Category 1 or 2 can use the method.

  • Women with conditions classified as Category 3 or 4 should not use the method.
 

Back

Previous page      Next page

Next