Quality Family Planning

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

Update: Providing Quality Family Planning Services — Recommendations from CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs, 2015

In April 2014, Providing Quality Family Planning Services: Recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Office of Population Affairs (QFP) was published as a CDC MMWR Recommendations and Reports. The QFP, developed jointly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the HHS Office of Population Affairs (OPA), provide recommendations for use by all reproductive health and primary care providers with patients who are in need of services related to preventing or for achieving pregnancy.

Why is QFP Needed?

The U.S. continues to face significant challenges in improving the reproductive health of all Americans:

  • Nearly half (49%) of all pregnancies are unintended.
  • The US has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in the developed world. More than 700,000 adolescents (15-19 years) become pregnant each year and more than 300,000 give birth.
  • Approximately 1 in 8 pregnancies results in a preterm birth and infant mortality rates remain high compared with other developed countries.
  • Moreover, all of these outcomes disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities.

QFP answers the questions, "What services should be offered to a client who is in need of family planning, and how should those services be provided?" It does this by drawing on existing clinical recommendations and by filling gaps where they existed -- such as in how to provide contraceptive counseling, serve male clients, and address the special needs of adolescent clients.

The QFP recommendations support all primary care providers in delivering quality family planning services and define family planning services within a broader context of preventive services, to improve health outcomes for women, men and their (future) children.

QFP recommendations:

  • Define services to offer in a family planning visit and describe how to provide those services—for women and men.
  • Are designed for use with patients who need services related to preventing or achieving pregnancy.
  • Are based on a rigorous, systematic, transparent review of the evidence and with input from a broad range of clinical experts, OPA and CDC.
  • Encourage use of the family planning visit to provide other essential preventive health services such as breast and cervical cancer screening.
  • Include a special section on serving the unique needs of adolescents.

QFP integrates and fills gaps in existing guidelines for the family planning settings. QFP references numerous other clinical guidelines that are published by federal agencies, as well as guidelines released by professional medical associations. Quality family planning education, counseling and clinical services help to reduce unintended pregnancy and improve reproductive health and birth outcomes.

Clinical Guidelines Cited in QFP


Sexually transmitted diseases

Preconception and other preventive services

Professional Medical Associations cited in QFP

QFP also draws on the clinical guidelines of several professional medical associations. These include:

Quality Family Planning (QFP) Services

Family Planning Services Circles, see text-only version below

text-only version

Click on image for enlarged version

In QFP, family planning services are embedded within a broader framework of preventive health services.

Family Planning Services Flowchart, see text-only version below

text-only version