Fellowship in Family Planning

The Fellowship in Family Planning at the University of Washington provides post-graduate obstetrician-gynecologists the opportunity to focus on family planning training and research at a university that is a national leader in clinical care, biomedical research, education and training, and ranks first among public universities in federal funding of research. This two-year program offers fellows supervised training in advanced family planning and abortion clinical skills, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Washington School of Public Health. Fellows also work as attending physicians, participating in general obstetrics and gynecology care, including resident supervision and Ob and Gyn call. Teaching and mentoring skills will be developed through interaction with the Ryan Residency Training Program.

Fellows will choose from a broad range of topics in contraception and abortion to design and complete a research project of their choice during their fellowship under the mentorship of senior colleagues. The project may be completed in collaboration with faculty in the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, or an established UW research program.

Fellows will be trained in all clinical methods of first and second trimester medical and surgical abortion. In addition, fellows will receive training in the management of all modern contraceptive methods, with an emphasis on contraception for medically complex patients.

Our fellowship provides a strong global perspective on issues related to family planning, abortion, and reproductive rights. UW fellows will be encouraged to pursue their interests in global reproductive health, and will be expected to participate in an international rotation, which will be arranged under the guidance of fellowship faculty and staff.

Training in contraception and abortion care is provided through full participation in the Family Planning Fellowship. Currently, one position is offered per year. For more information or to apply, please visit http://www.familyplanningfellowship.org/. 

You may also contact:

Erin McCoy, MPH
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Box 356460
University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle, WA 98195-6460
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Family Planning Faculty

Prager Sarah Dept website Sarah Prager, MD, MAS
Associate Professor
Director, Family Planning 
Director, Family Planning Fellowship
    Micks Elizabeth Sept 8 2015 Dept Web Elizabeth Micks, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Director, Ryan Residency Training Program
Emily Godfrey, MD, MPH
Associate Professor
Callegari Lisa January 2016 Dept Web Lisa Callegari, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor

Ryan Residency Training Program

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The Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program in Abortion and Family Planning is a privately funded national initiative that offers dedicated, formal training in abortion and family planning for residents in obstetrics and gynecology. Founded in 1999, the Ryan Program is based at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco. The University of Washington Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is proud to have offered Ryan training since 2004. Residents benefit from training in all aspects of uterine evacuation and contraception, evidence-based techniques and practices, and increased opportunities for research. Faculty and residents who receive Ryan training report improved competence in a wide range of clinical skills. This training is offered on an opt-out basis, to the level of resident comfort.

For more information, please visit www.ryanprogram.org.    

"The most valuable part of the rotation was mastering an all-too-uncommon and important skill, connecting with patients at a stressful moment in their lives and feeling like I provided them with a valuable service in a safe and respectful manner."
—Ryan Program Resident

"I feel capable of safely providing a service and performing a procedure that could be needed in both elective and emergent situations."
—Ryan Program resident

Contraception and Birth Control

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The goal of birth control is to prevent unintended pregnancy. Many types of contraception are available to women. In deciding which method is best for you, it is important to consider many factors including the amount of time you wish to avoid pregnancy, the effectiveness of the method, ease of use, cost, side effects, protection from sexually transmitted infections, medical conditions, and interactions with other medications.

UW Medicine women's health specialists counsel all patients about contraception and birth control, including those with complex medical conditions.

Common methods are listed here. Remember, there is no one method that is best for every woman. Even when relying solely on methods that do not require a prescription, it is best to talk with a health-care provider to ensure that they are being used most effectively. Keep in mind that a barrier method such as condoms must be used for protection from sexually transmitted infections.

Most effective options (less than 1 pregnancy per 100 women each year):

Effective options (2-9 pregancies per 100 women each year):

Less effective options (15-24 pregnancies per 100 women each year):

What is LARC?

LARC is short for "long-acting reversible contraception." The IUD and implant are LARC methods. In a recent large clinical study, LARC methods were found to be 20 times more effective than the pill, patch, and ring, for both older and younger women. A woman taking birth control pills must take over 1,000 pills in order to avoid pregnancy for just 3 years. This can be difficult and burdensome for many women. In contrast, the IUD or implant provides increased protection from pregnancy for the same amount of time, and requires only one short procedure in a doctor's office. LARC options are safe for most women, including adolescents. Click here for more information about the advantages of LARC methods and why their use is increasing.

Helpful Resources

Interactive website about birth control methods: Bedsider.org
Do you know your family planning choices?
How hormonal methods work to prevent pregnancy
Myths and facts about intrauterine contraception (the IUD)
Facts about menstrual suppression
Benefits of Contraception in the United States
What to expect at your appointments for Essure placement
More information about what to expect and how to prepare for your Essure placement

FAQ about birth control

Birth control pills
Emergency contraception
Sterilization for women and men
Postpartum sterilization
Barrier methods
Natural Family Planning
Implants, Injections, Rings, and Patches

Questions about birth control?

To schedule an appointment, click here or call 206-598-5500 and push option #4. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need further information about our services.

Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss

Pregnancy loss can be a very difficult experience, both physically and emotionally. Our skilled health care providers are here to help you with pregnancy loss services, including:

  • Miscarriage management and counseling
  • Fetal demise management and counseling
  • Maternal health management and counseling


When a pregnancy ends by itself before 20 weeks, it is called "miscarriage." It is also called "early pregnancy loss" or "spontaneous abortion." Early pregnancy loss is very common; as many as 1 in 4 pregnancies end this way. Usually, there is no known cause for a miscarriage. Many miscarriages are caused by chromosomal problems that prevent the fetus from developing normally, unrelated to either parent's genes. Problems related to other medical conditions or lifestyle factors can also cause miscarriage.

If you have any of the following symptoms, please contact a health care provider immediately:

  • Sudden decrease in pregnancy signs
  • Mild to severe back pain (worse than normal period cramps)
  • Weight loss
  • Contractions (painful and happening regularly)
  • Bleeding with or without cramps
  • Passing tissue or clots

While some or all of these symptoms may occur if you are having a miscarriage, you may also experience these symptoms even if you are not having a miscarriage. It is important for you to see a doctor to find out.

Treatment options

While some women do not require any treatment during or after a miscarriage, it is important that you see a health care provider to determine whether any medical interventions are needed.

We provide several treatment options besides expectant management (watchful waiting), including medication management, manual vacuum aspiration (MVA), and electric vacuum aspiration (EVA), sometimes also called D&C or D&E. You and your doctor will determine whether you need treatment and which treatment is best for your situation. Click here to learn more about miscarriage and about what to expect at your appointment.

It is possible for an infection to develop if any tissue from a fetus or placenta remains in the uterus. If you have any symptoms of a complication, including fever, abnormal bleeding, cramping, or foul-smelling discharge, you need to see your doctor right away.

For many people, a miscarriage is a very difficult emotional experience. If you experience pregnancy loss, it is important for you to take time to acknowledge your loss, and seek support if you feel like it would be helpful. Our physicians and social workers are here to help you process your experience.

Getting pregnant after a miscarriage

Most women who have a miscarriage go on to have normal, healthy pregnancies. If you choose, you can try to get pregnant as soon as you'd like following an early pregnancy loss.

Helpful resources

More information about miscarriage
FAQs on early pregnancy loss
FAQs on bleeding during pregnancy
FAQs on repeated miscarriage
Caffeine consumption and miscarriage

Questions about pregnancy loss?

To schedule an appointment, click here or call 206-598-5500 and push option #4. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need further information about our services.


If you are pregnant, you have options. Abortion is a safe and legal way to end pregnancy, and our health care specialists are here to help by discussing your options with you. We trust women to make the best decisions for themselves, their families and their health, and we will support you and care for you whether you decide to end the pregnancy or continue the pregnancy.

Most abortion services at UW Medicine take place at the Family Planning Clinic. We provide care for women seeking elective abortion, and for pregnancy termination due to health problems with the fetus or mother. Your privacy is our priority. Since the Family Planning Clinic is fully integrated into the UW Women's Health Care Center, our patients are not identifiable from any others who are seeking care, and your experience will be similar to a general doctor's visit.

Our Services

  • Medical Abortion: Medical abortion, or non-surgical abortion, can be performed up to 10 weeks from your last menstrual period. The process takes place in the privacy of your own home and requires two separate visits to our office. The first visit includes an exam, counseling, and obtaining medications to take at home that will cause the pregnancy to pass. The second visit will take place a week or two later to make sure the abortion is complete. Click here for more information about steps to follow for a medical abortion after your first visit. 
  • Surgical Abortion: For women who are less than 14 weeks pregnant, surgical abortion is performed in a single visit. The procedure takes place in our office with local anesthesia and oral pain-relieving medications in a private room. Click here for information about what to expect after a first trimester surgical abortion and how to take care of yourself. For women who are beyond 14 weeks pregnant, two visits are required over a two-day period. Click here for information about what to expect after a second trimester abortion procedure. 
  • Surgical Abortion with general anesthesia: Some women wish to be asleep during the abortion procedure. For these patients, we will schedule an initial consultation in clinic and then schedule the surgery in the UW operating room, usually within 1 week.
  • Pregnancy termination for women with pregnancies complicated by medical conditions and fetal abnormalities 
  • Pre- and post-procedure counseling and follow-up
  • Post-abortion contraception

Helpful Resources

Facts for women about termination of pregnancy, abortion, and miscarriage
More information about early abortion services
FAQs about pregnancy choices: raising the baby, adoption, and abortion
Abortion Q&A
Exhale (after-abortion counseling talkline)

Questions about family planning?

To schedule an appointment, click here or call 206-598-5500 and push option #8. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need further information about our services..