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Lancet. 1994 Apr 23; 343(8904):987-988.Earlier this year The Lancet received a package of material, much of it highly critical, relating to a report that we had published in July, 1993. A few weeks later virtually the same package arrived from a different source. The accompanying messages were broadly similar, essentially saying that the work in question had come in for heavy criticism and that the project itself had been abruptly halted. All this had taken place without any consultation with the researchers or proper debate. The study was by Hieu and colleagues in Vietnam and described the use of quinacrine pellet sterilisation in more than 30 000 women in that country. In this issue, Professor Hieu, Director of the Maternal and Child Health/Family Planning Department at the Ministry of Health in Hanoi, outlines his concerns, expressing dismay at the manner in which his work has come under attack. The Lancet is no stranger to controversy and its correspondence section is open to all (matters relating to efficacy and operator skill had in fact been aired in letters published in the Oct 2 issue, p 869), so why have Professor Hieu and his colleagues been treated in this underhand fashion? (excerpt)
Association for Voluntary Sterilization - Consultant Team. Trip report: the People's Republic of China, Beijing, Chongqing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, June 19-30, 1985.
[Unpublished] 1985. 41,  p.The Association for Voluntary Sterilization consultant team visited Beijing, Chongqing, Wuhan and Guangzhou, China in June 1985, to review innovative nonsurgical methods of male and female sterilization. There are 2 variations on vasectomy, performed with special clamps that obviate a surgical incision. The 1st is a circular clamp for grasping the vas through the skin, and the 2nd is a small, curved, sharp hemostat for puncturing the skin and the vas sheath, used for ligation. Vas occlusion with 0.02 ml of a solution of phenol and cyanoacrylate has been performed on 500,000 men since 1972. The procedure is done under local anesthesia, and is controlled by injecting red and blue dye on contralateral sides. If urine is not brown, vasectomy by ligature is performed. The wound is closed with gauze only. Semen analysis is not done, but patients are advised to use contraception for the 1st 10 ejaculations. Pregnancy rates after vasectomy by percutaneous injection were reported as 0 in 5 groups of several hundred men each, 11.4% in 1 group and 2.4% in another group. The total complication rate after vasectomy by clamping was 1.8% in 121,000 men. 422 medical school graduates with surgical training have been certified in this vasectomy method. Chinese men are pleased with this method because it avoids surgery by knife, and asepsis, anesthesia and counseling are excellent. Female sterilization by blind transcervical delivery of a phenol-quinacrine mixture has been done on 200,000 women since 1970 by research teams in Guangzhou and Shanghai. A metal cannula is inserted into the tubal opening, tested for position by an injection of saline, and 0.1-0.12 ml of sclerosing solution is instilled. Correct placement is verified by x-ray, an IUD is inserted, and after 3 months a repeat hysteroscopy is done to test uterine pressure. Pregnancy rates have been 1-2.5%, generally in the 1st 2 years. Although this technique is tedious, requiring great skill and patient cooperation, it can be mastered by paramedicals. The WHO is assisting the Chinese on setting up large studies on safety and effectiveness, as well as toxicology studies needed, to export the methods to other countries.
International Family Planning Perspectives. 1979 Sep; 5(3):127-9.The International Fertility Research Program (IFRP) is sponsoring research in 30 developing countries and 13 developed nations in an effort to develop more effective contraceptive methods. Particular emphasis is being placed on developing contraceptives for women in developing countries where nutritional, health, and sanitation conditions make current methods either difficult or less effective to use. Trials of a pill regimen including vitamin supplementation are underway in Sri Lanka, and a progestogen-only pill for use by lactating women is being tested in Egypt and India. Progestogens apparently do not modify the content of maternal milk. Another study involves the testing of a Lippes loop which releases Trasylol, a bleeding suppressant, in an effort to overcome bleeding problems associated with IUD use. The IFRP has developed and is testing biodegradable appendages which can be attached to IUDs to help retain the device in postpartum women during the period when the uterus is enlarged. Other efforts are being directed toward improving and simplifying sterilization procedures. In Chile, pellets of quinacrine have been inserted into the upper area of the uterus. As the pellets dissolve the quinacrine enters the tubes and produces scar tissue which eventually closes the tube. This research may pave the way toward the development of a non-surgical sterilization method. Animal studies of a reversible sterilization procedure in which a condom-like device is fitted over the ends of the tubes are in progress. In another project a modified laparoscope, called the Laprocator, is being evaluated. The device does not use electricity and is particularly suitable for use in areas in which electricity is lacking or the source is unstable. The device is used in a procedure called suprapubic endoscopy in which only a small incision is needed. Insufflation of the abdomen is unnecessary, and elastic rings are used to close the tubes. IFRP will undertake an innovative motivational project in the Middle East during the coming religious holidays.
In: Sciarra, J.J., Markland, C. and Speidel, J.J., eds. Control of male fertility. (Proceedings of a Workshop on the Control of Male Fertility, San Francisco, June 19-21, 1974). Hagerstown, Maryland, Harper and Row, 1975. p. 274-307Literature on research approaches to permanent and relatively reversible methods of male fertility control is reviewed. Sources and expenditures for research into male fertility control are noted. Permanent methods discussed include electrocautery of the vas, transcutaneous interruption of the vas, vasectomy clips, chemical occlusion of the vas, and passive immunization. Reversible methods reviewed include vasovasotomy, intravasal plugs, and vas valves. Current research into animal models, reversibility after vas occlusion, nonocclusive surgical techniques, pharmacological alteration of male reproductive function, including adrenergic blocking agents, steroidal compounds, inhibitors of gonadotropin secretion, clomiphene citrate, organosiloxanes, prostaglandins, alpha-chlorohydrin, heterocyclic agents, and alkylating agents, and delivery systems for antifertility agents is discussed. Research into semen storage and improved condoms is also reviewed. As a relatively low proportion of funds are committed to research in male fertility control, a greater investment in applied and clinical research is warranted.