Division of Family Planning and Preventive Services

Unit Head

Columbia’s specialists in the Division of Family Planning & Preventive Services have expertise in assisting patients with chronic and complex health conditions to make informed choices about contraceptive options. As national and international leaders in family planning innovation, our faculty members are involved in the development of novel contraceptive options, and work with city, state and federal governments to increase access to contraception and women’s health services. They are also engaged in research to determine the effectiveness of birth control for women with epilepsy and to evaluate a new nonsurgical permanent contraceptive option.

Patient Care

Physicians in the division provide general gynecologic care, family planning services, educational programs about contraception and prevention, access to contraception, and counseling to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Our physicians have the expertise to help women with existing medical problems evaluate contraceptive options and determine whether contraception can be used to alleviate problems such as heavy menstrual bleeding and menstrual pain. Our experts also manage miscarriages and induced abortions with surgical and non-surgical treatments.

Family Planning specialists work in conjunction with the Maternal-Fetal Medicine experts to manage pregnancies diagnosed with fetal anomalies or pregnancies that develop second-trimester complications.


The Division of Family Planning & Preventive Services is a member of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's contraceptive network and performs multi-centered trials of new and evolving contraceptive techniques. It also evaluates approaches to improved abortion care, and innovations in reproductive health screening.

Physicians in the division are fully engaged in the development and evaluation of novel contraceptives through studies supported by the NIH. Active research projects include the development and evaluation of maternal blood samples using cell-free fetal DNA to detect fetal chromosomal abnormalities; effective birth control for women with epilepsy; sustainable access to levonorgestrel-releasing, intrauterine device (IUD) contraception; and evaluation of the effectiveness and safety of the user-controlled contraceptive vaginal ring (CVR).

Read more about research in the Division of Family Planning and Preventive Services


The division offers a two-year Family Planning & Preventive Services Fellowship. We also train medical students and residents to perform minimally-invasive surgical procedures and conduct clinical research investigating new surgical techniques and new ways to deliver services and treatments.