Update: Providing Quality Family Planning Services — Recommendations From CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs, 2017

Loretta Gavin, PhD; Karen Pazol, PhD; Katherine Ahrens, PhD


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2017;66(50):1383-1385. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


In April 2014, CDC published "Providing Quality Family Planning Services: Recommendations of CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs" (QFP), which describes the scope of services that should be offered in a family planning visit and how to provide those services (e.g., periodicity of screening, which persons are in need of services, etc.).[1] The sections in QFP include the following: Determining the Client's Need for Services; Contraceptive Services; Pregnancy Testing and Counseling; Clients Who Want to Become Pregnant; Basic Infertility Services; Preconception Health Services; Sexually Transmitted Disease Services; and Related Preventive Health Services. In addition, the QFP includes an appendix entitled Screening Services for Which Evidence Does Not Support Screening.

CDC and the Office of Population Affairs developed QFP recommendations by conducting an extensive review of published evidence, seeking expert opinion, and synthesizing existing clinical recommendations from CDC, agencies such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), and professional medical associations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The scope of preventive services related to reproductive health is constantly evolving as new scientific findings are published and clinical recommendations are modified accordingly. Being knowledgeable about the most current recommendations is an important step toward providing the highest quality care to patients. To keep QFP current with the latest recommendations, CDC and the Office of Population Affairs publish occasional updates that summarize newly published clinical recommendations. The first of these updates was published in March 2016,[2] and covered guidelines published during April 2014–December 2015. This report summarizes recommendations from guidelines published during January 2016–April 2017. CDC and the Office of Population Affairs prepared these updates by searching for materials from CDC, USPSTF, and other professional medical organizations that had recommendations referenced in the original QFP. When updated recommendations were identified, they were evaluated for changes in implications for providing family planning care. CDC and the Office of Population Affairs determined that none of the newly published recommendations marked a substantial shift in how family planning care should be provided, and therefore did not seek additional review to consider the implications for the QFP for this update. Technical reviews from clinical experts representing a broad range of family planning providers might be appropriate for future updates.

Updated recommendations that have implications for clinical practice for family planning providers are highlighted (Box). In addition, an updated reference list for each section in the QFP is provided for all recommendations published during January 2016–April 2017, including those that did not result in any change in recommended clinical practices for family planning providers.