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    Peer Reviewed

    Contraceptive research and development.


    British Medical Bulletin. 1979 May; 35(2):199-204.

    Contraceptive research and development is primarily performed at universities and research councils due to the cost and time involved for industry and philanthropic organizations to bring drugs to market. Promising fundamental research includes immunization of women against chorionic gonadotrophin in order to disrupt the embryo in early pregnancy. Post-coital drugs, such as Anordrin, are also being developed for situations involving low-coital frequency. Once-a-month formulas are being developed to 1) exert a direct luteolytic effect on the corpus luteum; 2) interfere with the luteotrophic action of the implanting blastocyst; 3) inhibit the progestational development of the endometrium during the luteal phase of the cycle; or 4) exert a specific toxic effect on the early embryo. Methods for detecting ovulation incuding urine and saliva tests as well as electronic devices to measure the blood flow or temperature associated with ovulation are also being explored. Reversible fertility control for men which suppress the pituitary function is under investigation. Applied research includes the design and assessment of alternate delivery systems such as intranasal sprays, intracervical devices, paper pills, vaginal rings, and biodegradable subdermal implants. In addition, long-acting injectable progestins, improved IUDs, and improved sterilization techniques are all being tested. With future funds, the comparative safety, efficacy, and acceptability of various fertility methods can be established.
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