ATR 2001 8.indd

Abstract

INTRODUCTION In 1995, approximately 570 million couples worldwide regularly used a method of family planning. Because use does not necessarily mean acceptance, this statistic offers only a glimpse at the behaviours that determine a couple's decision to use a method of fertility regulation. Nearly half the users of a reversible method discontinue its use within a year owing to a variety of reasons, including health concerns and the occurrence of an unplanned pregnancy. On the other hand, at least 120 million couples do not use any method of family planning, despite expressing a desire to space or limit the number of their children. Obstacles to the use of contraceptive methods include an ambivalence towards modern contraception , especially attributed to a fear of side-effects, and the lack of access to high-quality services. Experts have determined that the availability of improved or totally new methods of family planning could lead to a significant public health benefit and could meet the needs and demands of millions of men, women and families. The Programme's research on improved and new methods of fertility regulation provides one of the several interconnect -ing building blocks required for the delivery of quality family planning services. The Programme has pursued high-priority leads for new methods and approaches that are easier to use and simplify service delivery, are associated with fewer and less severe side-effects, and respond to the needs of various users including men. The Programme's goals link this work to the introduction of methods and subsequent large-scale trials of their safety and efficacy. Users' perspectives are gathered during the product development, introduction and routine service provision phases; together with clinical trial data, this information provides input into the development of norms, guidelines and other tools for providers and for family planning acceptors. Over the past decade, the Programme has been in the forefront of research on new technologies for emergency contraception. The aim is to further improve the safety, efficacy, acceptability and ease of service delivery of these methods. As taking two doses of levonorgestrel 12 hours apart is not very practical, simpler regimens are being tested. Research has continued to further confirm the efficacy of the intrauter-ine device (IUD) and a 10 mg dose of mifepristone. New compounds are also being tested. The Programme's research has also stimulated other organizations to launch activities in this area. An international Consortium on Emergency Contraception was founded in 1996 …

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Vayena2002ATR28, title={ATR 2001 8.indd}, author={Effy Vayena}, year={2002} }