NPC Archive Item: Accredited guidelines on combined hormonal and emergency contraception

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MeReC Rapid Review NPC Logo

NHS Evidence accreditation logo NHS Evidence accredited provider

22 December 2011

The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) have recently published clinical guidelines on emergency contraception and combined hormonal contraception. The process used by the Clinical Effectiveness Unit of the FSRH to produce clinical guidelines has now been accredited by NHS Evidence.

Healthcare professionals providing contraception or contraceptive advice should familiarise themselves with these clinical guidelines. A summary of key recommendations is given at the start of each guideline.

What are the main changes to previous guidance?
For combined hormonal contraception, the main changes from the previous guidance are the inclusion of:

  • All combined hormonal methods (oral contraceptive pills, transdermal patch and vaginal ring)
  • New advice in relation to combined hormonal contraception and antibiotics that do not induce enzymes (see MeReC Rapid Review No. 2586)
  • New missed pill advice (see also the MHRA Public Assessment Report on combined oral contraceptives which discusses the rationale for changes to the product information for all combined oral contraceptive pills on when to start taking the pill and actions to take if a pill has been missed)
  • Advice in relation to incorrect use of the contraceptive patch and ring
  • Updated UK Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use.

The most significant change from previous guidance on emergency contraception is the inclusion of ulipristal acetate▼.

What is NHS Evidence accreditation and why is it important?
The NHS Evidence Accreditation Scheme accredits the processes used to develop guidance, not organisations themselves. The process is the defined steps used to develop a specific guidance product,guidance being defined as ‘systematically developed statements to guide decisions about appropriate health and social care to improve individual and population health and wellbeing.’ Users of guidance developed under an accredited process can be confident that the guidance has been produced to a high standard. Accredited guidance producers are eligible to use an Accreditation Mark as a recognised sign of quality. This logo is clearly visible in the search results on NHS Evidence.

Further information on contraception can be found on NHS Evidence and in the contraception e-learning section of the NPC website. For more information on the Accreditation Scheme see the frequently asked questions on the NHS Evidence website.

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