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Contraception. 2009 Oct; 80(4):325-6.This commentary discusses women with liver diseases and the considerations that are necessary when choosing the appropriate contraceptive method due to the effect of hormones on the liver. It provides recommendations provided by the World Health Organization expert Working Group on family planning guidance to assist those women with their contraceptive options.
Lancet. 2005 Oct 8; 366(9493):1264.We appreciate the interest shown by Diana Mansour and Ian Fraser in our statement on the WHO “missed pill” recommendations. Our Clinical Effectiveness Unit provides objective statements on new publications in the field of contraception to assist members of the UK Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care in their decisions about adopting new evidence into practice. Mansour and Fraser make a number of criticisms about our statement. First, they question the ability of pill users to interpret and apply the new missed pill rules. Our unit’s guidance is aimed at family planning clinicians, rather than contraceptive users. Although we assume that most women know the name and type of their pill and would be able to apply the recommendations, our statement was designed for clinicians rather than patients. The fpa (formerly the Family Planning Association) has published the same information in a format designed for women. (excerpt)
Contraception. 1984 Dec; 30(6):505-22.The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a randomized comparative trail of th effects of hormonal contrception on milk volume and infant growth. The 341 study participants, drawn from 3 obstetric centers in Hungary and Thailand, were 20-35 years of age with 2-4 live births and previous successful experience with breastfeeding. Subjects who chose oral contraception (OC) were randomly allocated to a combined preparation containing 150 mcg levonorgestrel and 30 mcg ethinyl estradiol (N=86) or to a progestin-only minipill containing 75 mcg dl-norgestrel (N=8). 59 Thai women receiving 150 mg depot medroxyprogesterone (DPMA) intramuscularly every 3 months were also studied. An additional 111 women who were using nonhormonal methods of contraception or no contraception served as controls. Milk volume was determined by breast pump expression. No significant differences in average milk volume were noted between treatment groups at the 6 week baseline visit. However, between the 6th and 24th weeks, average milk volume in the combined OC group declined by 41.9%, which was significantly greater than the declines of 12.0% noted in the progestin-only group, 6.1% among DMPA users, and 16.7% among controls. The lower expressed milk volume among combined OC users did not impair infant growth. No significant differences were observed between treatment groups in terms of average infant body weight or rate or weight gain. Users of combined OCs may have compensated for their decreased milk volume by providing more extensive supplementary feeding or more prolonged suckling episodes. These results suggest that the estrogen content of combined OCs adversely affects the capacity of the breast to produce milk; thus, family planning programs should make nonestrogen-containing methods available to breastfeeding mothers. Although no effects on infant growth were noted in this study, the possibility of such efects cannot be excluded in populations where infant growth largely depends on the adequacy of unsupplemente d lactation.
ADVANCES IN CONTRACEPTION. 1990 Sep; 6(3):169-76.Clinical trials of vaginal rings containing progestins or ethinyl estradiol and progestins by WHO, the Population Council and private firms are reviewed. Contraceptive steroids can be formulated into Silastic vaginal rings because they are released continuously from this material (zero-order kinetics). Vaginal rings have the advantage of avoiding the 1st pass effect on the liver, as well as self- administration, unrelated to the timing of coitus and regulation of withdrawal bleeding with removal for 7 days per cycle. The shell vaginal ring, with an inert core, a layer of Silastic containing the progestogen, and an outer Silastic layer is designed to regulate release by the thickness of the outer layer. The WHO tested rings releasing 200 mcg norethisterone/day resulting in too many menstrual side effects; and 50 mcg/day with too high a failure rate. A ring releasing 20 mcg levonorgestrel is expected to perform well. The Population Council designed rings releasing 152 mcg ethinyl estradiol and 252 mcg levonorgestrel, and 183 mcg ethinyl estradiol and 293 mcg levonorgestrel. These resulted in pregnancy rates of 2/100 woman years, and continuation rates of 50%, but unacceptably adverse lipid effects. Women discontinued for vaginal symptoms. Compared to a similar combined oral pill, the rings offered no advantage. WHO subsequently introduced a ring releasing 20 mcg levonorgestrel: efficacy was 3.8 and continuation over 50%. A new segmented ring with desogestrel is causing fewer androgenic effects and bleeding complaints. Another ring in current trials gives off 120 mcg desogestrel and 30 mcg ethinyl estradiol with no pregnancies and good acceptability in 100 women to date. Availability of Silastic material and quality control in manufacture are seen as obstacles to overcome for mass production of these vaginal rings.
UNICEF-meeting to determine and coordinate medical/technical aspects of family planning supplies-April 29, 1974. [Memorandum]
Washington, D.C., U.S. Government, 1974 May 1. 5 p.A meeting was held among personnel from UNICEF, WHO, IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation), and UNFPA (United Nations Fund for Population Activities. The meeting was held to determine and coordinate funding aspects of family planning supply programs. UNFPA agreed to fund OCs (oral contraceptives), condoms, Depo-Provera, spermicides, IUDs, and abortion equipment for UNICEF programs. It was mentioned that AID (the U.S. Agency for International Development) supplies most of the contraceptives needed for IPPF activities. WHO sets standards and prepares lists of acceptable contraceptive supplies. The UNFPA funding called for $2 million for OCs, $1 million for condoms, and much lesser amounts for the other types of contraceptives.
CRP Population Research. 1978 Nov; 33-34.The Contraceptive Development Branch (CDB) program conducts research in 2 areas: 1) reproductive processes and 2) product development. Research on reproductive processes improved the understanding of gamete transport and has better identified corpus luteum functions and the role of prostaglandins. The biology and biochemistry of the ovum has been studied, and in vitro fertilization investigated. The mechanism of spermatogenesis, sperm maturation, and subsequent fertilization have been observed. Moreover, CDB has participated in the distribution of a variety of reagents to the scientific community, to stimulate research on the antipregnancy vaccine. In the area of product development, the CDB continues experimenting with the synthesis of new chemicals to regulate human fertility, the issue of safety being the primary motivation of the program. Approximately 1100 new chemicals have been synthesized and tested on laboratory animals. A drug testing program was initiated in 1972, providing feedback of biological data, and representing the major drug testing effort in the U.S. Considerable progress has been made in the area of implantable and oral contraceptives, and in the area of devices for fertility regulation, and for sexual sterilization. Clinical studies sponsored by CDB are ongoing.
Contraception. 1982 Mar; 25(3):231-41.A randomized, controlled, clinical trial comparing 6 combined oral contraceptives (OCs) with 50 mcg or less of ethinyl estradiol was undertaken in 10 WHO Collaborating Centers for Clinical Research in Human Reproduction. A total of 2430 women entered the trial and were observed for 28,077 woman-cycles. All low-dose combined OCs demonstrated equivalent efficacy with 1-year pregnancy rates of 1-6%. However, discontinuation rates for medical reasons differed significantly between the treatment groups with the preparation containing 20 mcg ethinyl estradiol and that containing 400 mcg norethisterone acetate being associated with higher discontinuation rates due to bleeding disturbances. Even among the preparations which did not differ in discontinuation rates, the reasons for discontinuation did differ. Women receiving norethisterone preparations tended to discontinue because of bleeding disturbances while those receiving the levonorgestrel-containing preparations tended to discontinue because of complaints of nausea and vomiting. (author's)