The medical eligibility criteria (MEC) for contraceptive use do not change during an epidemic.

To provide safe family planning care during an epidemic, providers should:

  • Share tasks with other cadres of health workers, when family planning services and methods can be safely provided, to allow more specialized clinicians to use their skills to provide specialized services.
  • Continue to use WHO’s Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use (MEC) and the MEC wheel or app to evaluate the safety of contraceptive methods for each client (see Digital Health Tools at the end of this chapter).
  • Recognize health risks, including signs and symptoms of serious health conditions that may be more common during a protracted epidemic. 
    If a client reports such signs or symptoms, refer them for care or manage the conditions.
  • Reassess the safety of contraceptive methods for clients who develop serious health conditions. (See Appendix B – Signs and Symptoms of Serious Health Conditions).