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This course deals with the social, epidemiological and ethical aspects of family planning. It explores the various methods of contraception, sterilisation and pregnancy termination, enabling students to better understand possible future developments in family planning.

Course Aims

This course will examine the various contraceptive methods presently available to women and their partners and those likely to become available in the short term future. Particular emphasis will be given to the various factors which influence contraceptive choice and to the interdependent roles of patient and clinician in determining such choice. Whenever possible the course will attempt to take an evidence-based approach to the material presented, based largely on the World Health Organisation's publication- "Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use"

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Describe how each method exerts its contraceptive effect
  • Describe the various methods of contraception in terms of efficacy, benefits, risks and side-effects
  • Confidently discuss these methods with patients with differing medical and social needs - i.e. patients of different ages cultural backgrounds and philosophical beliefs, those with particular medical problems, those at risk of sexually transmitted infection
  • Provide competent and balanced advice as to which contraceptive options might most closely meet an individual patient's needs
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1



Delivery Mode

Fully online

Indicative contact hours



Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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