Hormonal contraception: A complete review

Target Audience:

Pharmacists in community-based practice.

Universal program number: 0401-0000-17-003-H01-P
CE Broker tracking number: 20-568269
Activity type: Application-based


To supplement the pharmacist’s ability to recommend oral contraception and emergency contraception to patients.


Despite the availability of many effective contraceptive methods, 45% of pregnancies are still unplanned.1 The majority of these pregnancies occur in women who are not using contraception regularly or correctly. Rates of unplanned pregnancies are higher for women who are low income, between the ages of 18 and 24 years old, cohabitating, or minorities.2 Statistics from 2011 have shown that unintended pregnancies can have high social and economic costs. Unplanned pregnancies may contribute to lower levels of education, challenges obtaining a job, higher crime rates and increased levels of household stress for the mother.3 Women who become pregnant unintentionally and carry to term are more likely to participate in high-risk activities while pregnant, including lifting heavy objects and using unsafe medications and herbals, which could lead to fetal harm.3 An unintended pregnancy also has a 42% likelihood of ending in abortion.2 Unintended pregnancies cause an additional financial burden to the public, as well. An estimated 68% of unintended pregnancy healthcare costs are funded by public insurance programs, such as Medicaid.2 Lowering the rate of unplanned pregnancies would significantly decrease healthcare costs by limiting the money spent on pre- and postnatal care.

Learning objectives:

Upon completion of this program, the pharmacist should be able to:

  1. Describe the state and federal legislation intended to increase access to hormonal contraceptives.
  2. Explain the menstrual cycle and related hormones.
  3. Identify the components of hormonal contraceptives.
  4. Apply patient assessment factors and counseling points for a patient seeking hormonal contraception.
  5. Formulate or modify a medication regimen for a patient seeking hormonal contraception.
  6. Select emergency contraception and provide counseling for a patient who has engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse.
To obtain credit:

To complete the program and receive CPE credit, view all lesson content and complete the learning assessment by submitting answers online. A minimum test score of 70% is needed to obtain credit. After successfully completing the learning assessment, participants must complete a program evaluation and claim the available CPE credit. Participants also must verify personal information required by CPE monitor and/or CE Broker (for Florida license holders) prior to submitting CPE credit claims. Official statements of credit are available only through CPE Monitor located at NABP.net.

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Drug Store News is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This CPE activity is approved for pharmacists and is worth 3.0 contact hours (0.3 CEUs). The activity is available for CE credit through March 13, 2020.

Course summary
Credit hours: 
  • 3.00 Pharmacist
Course opens: 
Course format: 
Written Lesson
Course expires: 

Brooke Griffin, PharmD, BCACP, professor of pharmacy practice, Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy; Sarah Lynch, PharmD, clinical assistant professor, director of skills education, Binghamton University State University of New York School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Caitlin Malone, PharmD, residency director and clinical pharmacist, Albertsons Companies; Kathleen Vest, PharmD, CDE, BCACP, associate professor of pharmacy practice, Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy  

Brooke Griffin, Sarah Lynch, Caitlin Malone, Kathleen Vest and the DSN editorial and continuing education staff do not have any actual or potential conflicts of interest in relation to this lesson.

Available Credit

  • 3.00 Pharmacist

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
Course expires: 


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