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London, England, International Planned Parenthood Federation, 1985. 48 p. (IPPF Medical Publications.)This booklet, published by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), discusses the mode of action of barrier methods of contraception--their advantages, disadvantages, and effectiveness. Each method is dealt with in detail under the headings of 'application,' 'instruction to users,' 'advantages,' 'disadvantages and side-effects' and 'effectiveness.' Areas of research and safety issues are also discussed. The various types of barrier contraceptives are: 1) spermicides--creams, jellies, melting suppositories, foaming suppositories or tablets, and aerosol foams; 2) unmedicated mechanical barriers--vagnial diaphrams and cervical caps, including cavity-rim, Vimule and vault caps; 3) medicated mechanical barriers--vaginal sponges; and 4) condoms. When used properly and conscientiously, the contraceptive agents are both safe and effective, although their mode of action may be more complex than has been assumed in the past. The function of barrier contraceptives is to block the passage of sperm into the cervical mucus; the condom prevents sperm from being deposited in the vagina, whereas the vaginal barriers interfere with sperm transport after semen has entered the vagina. In addition to blocking the intial wave of sperm form entering the cervix, the spermicidal preparations also kill the sperm within the vagina; most products now in use contain a nonionic surface active agent as a spermicide. Favorable attributes of barrier methods are: 1) few local side effects, 2) no highly skilled medical intervention is needed, 3) they are applied locally in the vagina, 4) they may inhibit sexually transmitted diseases, 5) there are few medical contraindications to their use, and 6) most are available without prescription. Disadvantages are: 1) they are generally less effective than most hormonal contraceptive and IUDs, 2) strong motivation is required for successful use, 3) they require manipulation of the genitalia, 4) some types are inconvenient or messy, and 5) most must be applied at or near the time of sexual intercourse. New spermicides, custom fitted cervical caps, and enzyme inhibitors are some of the new methods being researched and developed. The appendix includes the IPPF policy statement on barrier methods of contraception.
Presented at the Program for Applied Research on Fertility Regulation and Asociacion Pro-bienestar de la Familia de Guatemala International Workshop on New Developments in Vaginal Contraception, Guatemala City, Guatemala, April 25-27, 1979. 15 pThe effectiveness and promotional claims of a particularly influential spermicidal suppository with purported foaming action (Encare Oval) were refuted and challenged. The results of a West German survey showed that amount of information on contraception and method used were closely related; unfortunately, then, adolescents being less informed, choose spermicidal over-the-counter agents, and 60-70% choose Encare Oval. Encare contains nonoxynol, a surface active substance which exerts spermicidal activity by lowering the tension of the sperm cell surface leading to loss of motility because of osmotic imbalance. The manufacturer claims that following deep intravaginal application, Encare melts at body temperature and creats a so-called "barrier function." It is claimed that this foam from the suppository distributes the spermicide more effectively. Since few studies (none prospective) have addressed these claims, Pro Familia centers were solicited for retrospective data on usage and contraceptive failure of Encare. Related to the computed number of all counseled visitors, i.e., including nonpregnant women 3eeking advice, and provided a 15% overall Encare user rate in the general fertile female population, the number of pregnancies occurring under Encare (marked as PO in W. Germany) use was calculated in a range from 12.5-19.1%, meaning that every 6th-8th woman using the product will conceive; this rate is 5-6 times higher than with oral contraceptives and the manufacturer claims that the product is as safe and reliable as the pill. In addition, failures due to improper insertion were high; but of equal importance was the fact that the foaming action claimed was proven nonexistant 15 minutes after application.
London, International Planned Parenthood Federation, June 1971. 83 pThis is a comprehensive listing of available contraceptives worldwide compiled by the International Planned Parenthood Medical Dept. Contraceptives are listed by brand name and by country, and are categorized by: 1) caps, i.e. diaphragms and others; 2) condoms; 3) spermicides; 4) IUDs; and 5) oral contraceptives. Codes indicate the composition of all oral contraceptives. No assessment of quality has been made. Most oral contraceptives have been approved by the national governments. The IUDs have been clinically tested. There is 1 national standard for diaphragms, several national standards for condoms, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation test for spermicidals.