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  1. 1

    Steroid contraception and the risk of neoplasia.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Scientific Group

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1978. (World Health Organization Technical Report Series No. 619) 54 p

    Studies on steroid contraception (SC) and risk of neoplasia are reviewed. Methodological issues in neoplasia etiology studies include: 1) possibility of a latent period between exposure to cause and disease development; 2) cumulative effects of prolonged or repeated SC exposure; 3) discontinued drugs or dosage schedules; 4) time of exposure (adolescence or prenatal, e.g.); 5) isolation of specific causes among multiple risks; and 6) variations in neoplasma diagnoses. The 4 epidemiological approaches to SC-associated neoplasia studies have inherent shortcomings, but cohorts yield significant associations. Relative risk (ratio of disease incidence among exposed vs. nonexposed persons) is an index of association only, not evidence of cause and effect. Benign breast neoplasia risk was reduced by current SC use of >2 years, and weak evidence points to a residual protective effect, apparently associated with progestogen dose. Aggregated breast cancer data show no clear adverse or beneficial effect of SC use; however, evidence suggests SCs may increase breast cancer risk in population subgroups (e.g., young women). Only short-term evidence is available; hence, no inference of long-term SC breast cancer effects is possible. No beneficial effect of SCs on uterine fibroids is evident, but sequential SCs, no longer marketed, may have increased risk to endometrial carcinoma. Inconclusive data suggest SCs may decrease ovarian cancer risk. Increased risk of cervical dysplasia and carcinoma in situ is associated with SC use, especially long-term use by women with predisposing factors. Risk of hepatocellular adenoma of the liver increases with prolonged SC exposure, especially high dose. Relevance of existing data from more developed countries to disease risk in less developed ones is discussed, and recommendations made.
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  2. 2

    Basic and clinical aspects of intra-uterine devices. Report of a WHO scientific group.


    Geneva, World Health Organization, 1966. (Technical Report Series NO. 332).

    The value and possible hazards of IUDs are discussed. Grafenberg developed a metal ring IUD in 1928. There was initial enthusiasm about the device, but it became discredited and interest was not revived in the method until 1959. Today, various shapes, sizes, and materials are employed in making IUD'S. No single cause or mechanism of action of an IUD has so far come to light. In sub-human primates the IUD causes accelerated passage of ova through the tube and the rest of the reproductive tract appears to be the major, but not necessarily the only, mechanism, of action. In ruminants, the contraceptive action of the IUD is exerted, at least in part, at the ovarian level. In rats, mice, rabbits, and ferrets, the main effect of the IUD is suppression of the implantation. It is concluded that the action of the IUDs in the human species is exerted before the stage of implantation. The most effective devices are associated with an incidence of 1.8 to 2.9 pregnancies per 100 insertions during the first year of use. The frequency of spontaneous expulsion ranges from about 5% to over 20% depending on the type of device. About one half of all expulsions occur in the first 3 months and comparatively few after the first year. The incidence of removal for medical reasons ranges from approximately 10% to 25% of first insertions during the first year. The method can be used successfully by almost 3 out of every 4 women who adopt it. Side effect and complications include bleeding and pain and less frequently pelvic inflammatory disease and perforation. The only absolute contraindications to the use of IUDs are: (1) active pelvic inflammatory disease, and (2) pregnancy, proven or suspected. Research needs are noted.
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  3. 3

    Statement on intrauterine devices.

    International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF]

    IPPF Medical Bulletin. 1981 Dec; 15(6):1-3.

    These policy statements and guidelines from the International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) International Medical Advisory Panel (IMAP) concern IUDs. The following contraindications to IUD use are recognized: 1) pelvic inflaminatory disease, 2) known or suspected pregnancy, 3) history of previous ectopic pregnancy, 4) gynecological bleeding disorders, 5) suspected malignancy of the genital tract, 6) congenital uterine abnormalities or fibroids distorting the cavity, and 7) anemia, blood coagulation, severe cervical stenosis, copper allergy, Wilson's disease, and others. Generalities regarding appropriate IUDs are: 1) non-medicated devices (e.g. Lippes Loop) are studied for women who may not return for regular check-ups, 2) smaller medicated devices usually cause less menstrual blood loss than the non-medicated devices, 3) smaller devices are better for a smaller uterus and larger devices for the larger uterus, and 4) when a smaller device is expelled it is advisable to try a larger one and vice versa. Dalkon Shields should not be used by the IPPF system and all women using them should have the device removed. Correct insertion of IUDs is important and should be done by properly trained personnel. The timing of insertion is best during the menstrual period. Withdrawal of the applicator while leaving the device in place is the recommended insertion technique. Sterilization of IUDs should follow instructions on bulk-packaged IUDs. Complications include perforation, bleeding and pain, infection, and ectopic pregnancy. IUD removal should be done during menstruation. Good clinical management and follow-up care are recommended.
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