Safety and efficacy of fertility-regulating methods: a decade of research.

An international venture was launched in 1985 to fill a recognized gap in post-marketing surveillance of fertility-regulating methods. For this purpose a new task force was set up by the Special Programme of Research, Development, and Research Training in Human Reproduction, which is cosponsored by the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Population Fund, the World Bank, and WHO. Research priorities were chosen and epidemiological studies inaugurated, involving a total of 47 countries--mostly from the developing world. Important progress has been made, especially in helping to define the beneficial and possible adverse effects of oral contraceptives on the risk of neoplasia; in showing that the injectable contraceptive depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate protects against endometrial cancer and does not increase the overall risk of breast cancer, in clarifying which groups of women are susceptible to the rare cardiovascular complications of oral contraceptives (myocardial infarction, stroke, and venous thromboembolism); and in establishing the long-term effectiveness and safety of intrauterine devices. The research has already made a significant impact on family planning policies and practice. Critical appraisal of this venture, which has been modestly funded, confirms the value of mission-oriented research. It also illustrates the potential of collaboration that bridges the global divide between developing and developed countries.
AuthorsD C Skegg
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization (Bull World Health Organ) Vol. 77 Issue 9 Pg. 713-21 ( 1999) ISSN: 0042-9686 [Print] Switzerland
PMID10534894 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Contraception (methods)
  • Contraceptive Agents (adverse effects, standards)
  • Contraceptives, Oral (adverse effects, standards)
  • Developing Countries
  • Efficiency
  • Family Planning Policy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intrauterine Devices (standards)
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Product Surveillance, Postmarketing
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety
  • Sterilization, Reproductive
  • World Health Organization

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