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In: Zatuchni GL, Goldsmith A, Shelton JD, Sciarra JJ, ed. Long-acting contraceptive delivery systems. Philadelphia, Pa., Harper and Row, 1984. 1-19. (PARFR Series on Fertility Regulation)Depo-Provera (depomedroxy-progesterone acetate, or DMPA) and NORPLANT (the Population Council's registered trade name for subdermal implants) are focused on in this literature review. Over the past 17 years, more than 1 million individual doses of Depo-Provera have been supplied in Thailand. Currently 6,000 women a month use the method. Depo-Provera has proved outstandingly successful in Bangladesh for years. The basic disadvantage of long-acting steroid systems is that return to fertility is slow and unpredictable. Other disadvantages include menstrual distrubances and weight gain. Acceptability of injectable contraceptives has been studied primarily by the World Health Organization (WHO). In 1976, the Task Force on Acceptability of Research and Family Planning explored preferences among 3 routes of contraceptive administration: 1)oral; 2)intravaginal; and 3)injection. The study was conducted in Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan, and Thailand. Although the oral route was generally preferred by most women, many respondents still chose the injectable. A WHO III multicentered trial comparing the use, effectiveness, side effects and bleeding patterns of Depo-Provera and norethisterone enanthate (NET-EN) was terminated after only 1 year because of excessively high pregnancy rates with NET-EN. A total sample of about 250 women in Manila and Alexandria were interviewed. Results indicated that the 2 most important considerations were effectiveness and menstrual bleeding. Depo-Provera did not affect menstruation. Various types of subdermal implants releasing a contraceptive Silastic implant, is placed beneath the skin of the forearm or upper arm and provides 5 or more years' protection against pregnancy. The 6 capsules are not biodegradable and require surgical removal under local anesthesia.
British Journal of Family Planning. 1984 Jul; 10(37):37.This editorial takes a broad, international look at the worldwide implications of decisions taken in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the US with regard to family planning. National authorities, like the U.K. Committee for Safety of Medicines (CSM) of the US Food and Drug Administration, address issues concerning the safety of pharmaceutical products in terms of risk/benefit ratios applicable in their countries. International repercussions of US and U.K. decision making must be considered, especially in the area of pharmaceutical products, where they have an important world leadership role. Much of the adverse publicity of the use of Depo-Provera has focused on the fact that it was not approved for longterm use in the U.K. and the US. It is not equally known that the CSM, IPPF and WHO recommeded approval, but were overruled by the licensing agencies. The controversy caused by the Lancet articles of Professors with family planning doctors. At present several family planning issues in the U.K., such as contraception for minors, have implications for other countries. A campaign is being undertaken to enforce 'Squeal' laws in the U.K. and the US requiring parental consent for their teenagers under 16 to use contraceptives. In some developing countries, urbanization heightens the problem of adolescent sexuality. Carefully designed adolescent programs, stressing the need for adequate counseling, are needed. Many issues of international interest go unnoticed in the U.K. International agencies, like the WHO and UNiCEF, have embarked on a global program to promote lactation both for its benficial effects on an infant's growth and development and for birth spacing effects. It may be of benefit to family planning professionals in the U.K. to pay attention to international activity in such issues.