Send to

Choose Destination
Contraception. 2013 May;87(5):645-9. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2012.08.009. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

Laboratory screening prior to initiating contraception: a systematic review.

Author information

Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.



Certain contraceptive methods may increase the risk of adverse events for women with certain medical conditions, including some women with diabetes, hyperlipidemia, liver disease, cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This review was conducted to evaluate the evidence regarding health outcomes among women with and without laboratory testing to identify certain medical conditions prior to initiating contraceptives.


The PubMed database was searched from database inception through April 2012 for all peer-reviewed articles in any language evaluating health outcomes among women who initiated certain contraceptive methods and who had or had not received glucose, lipid, liver enzyme, cervical cytology, STI or HIV screening.


The systematic review did not identify any relevant direct evidence.


While certain methods of hormonal contraception may not be safe for use by some women with diabetes, hyperlipidemia or liver disease, there is little value in screening for these conditions in asymptomatic women prior to initiation of contraceptive methods due to the low prevalence of these conditions among women of reproductive age. Although intrauterine devices (IUDs) and cervical caps should not be initiated in women with cervical cancer, the high rates of cervical screening and low incidence of cervical cancer in the United States make this scenario unlikely. Although some women at risk for, or infected with, STIs or HIV should not undergo IUD insertion, if women have been screened for STIs or HIV according to guidelines, additional screening at the time of IUD insertion is not warranted. Requiring unnecessary laboratory screening prior to initiation of contraceptive methods may impose barriers to contraceptive access, and efforts to remove such barriers are critical in reducing unintended pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center