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Sept 26th World Contraception Day

25 Sep, 12 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

Your Future.

Your Choice.

Your Contraception.

 

WCD 2012 focuses on empowering young people to think ahead and build contraception into their plans, in order to prevent an unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection (STI).

  • World Contraception Day (WCD) takes place on September 26 every year. This annual worldwide campaign centres around a vision for a world where every pregnancy is wanted
  • Every year, countries and regions around the world organize events to mark World Contraception Day and to demonstrate their commitment to raising awareness of contraception and improving education regarding reproductive and sexual health.
  •  Launched in 2007, WCD’s mission is to improve awareness of all contraceptive methods to enable young people around the world to make informed decisions on their sexual and reproductive health
  • One of the most effective ways for young people to prevent an unplanned pregnancy or STI is to think ahead and consider the best contraceptive option for them – before having sex
  •  An important part of planning for the future is knowing where to access accurate and unbiased information about contraception.

The WCD website, www.Your-Life.com, contains up to date information on contraception to help young people and educational material with some useful quizzes under the ‘Media Center’ tab.

WCD is supported by a coalition of 11 international NGOs, scientific and medical societies with an interest in sexual health and is sponsored by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. The NGOs and societies involved in WCD are:

  • Asian Pacific Council on Contraception (APCOC)
  • Centro Latinamericano Salud y Mujer (CELSAM)
  • European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health (ESC)
  • German Foundation for World Population (DSW)
  • International Federation of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (FIGIJ)
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
  • Marie Stopes International (MSI)
  • Population Services International
  • The Population Council
  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Women Deliver

The website/blog Impatient Optimists, which is supported  by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, documents some of the difficulties people and countries around the world face trying to implement these aims.

http://www.londonfamilyplanningsummit.co.uk/ On 11 July 2012 the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with UNFPA and other partners hosted a groundbreaking summit that will mobilize global policy, financing, commodity, and service delivery commitments to support the rights of an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries to use contraceptive information, services and supplies, without coercion or discrimination, by 2020.

http://populationmatters.org/2012/ceo-blog/world-contraception-day-26-september-2012/ details the The Population Matters Annual General Meeting and Conference 2012 which will be held on Saturday 13th October 2012 in central London. The meeting is open to members, their guests and other interested parties on request. Advance registration is required.

America and abortion

17 Feb, 12 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

America finds itself in the throes of abortion furore again – in real life and virtually.

In a case that could potentially have long term consequences (whatever the result) in the same way as the Roe v Wade landmark legal decision did in 1973 Jennie McCormack’s fight is set to make its way up through the US justice system. As a financially struggling, single mother of three she found herself in an impossible situation when she became pregnant last year.  What marks her case out particularly, among the many other tragic tales, is that she lives in Idaho and the only solution she could find to her dilemma was to try and terminate the pregnancy herself when she heard about mifepristone being available via the internet.  Many women find themselves in similar difficult situations, particularly in conservative, ‘bible-belt’ states in America, of trying to acquire a legal abortion with the many hoops required to achieve this and the costs involved. The added problem in Idaho is that it has a law which bans women from carrying out their own abortion, though this has never been enforced before. Though the case was dropped for lack of evidence she could still be prosecuted and her lawyer has taken the decision to try and prevent this by bringing a suit on her behalf claiming the law is unconstitutional. As well as hoping to protect Jennie, herself, from prosecution they hope to set a precedent so that other women in Idaho and other conservative states will be free to access treatment via the internet and not have to suffer the additional anguish inflicted on them by the current situation in the US. Not that this will stop the persecution she is experiencing at the hands of her neighbours in small town Pocatello where she has been ostracised and subjected to all kinds of abuse so that she has become virtually a prisoner in her own home.

In an strange twist of art imitating life it seems that she may have found an unexpected ally in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and for the uninitiated – mostly those who don’t have children – this is an award-winning, cult US TV series/feature film/computer game/comic strip phenomenen). She too finds herself pregnant and needing to access an abortion. As the Guardian newspaper highlighted last week: The new issue of the weekly Buffy comics sees Buffy taking some time off from staking vampires through the heart to deal with what publisher Dark Horse called “a rather personal problem”. The creator, Joss Whedon is quoted as saying he doesn’t usually get soapboxy but feels strongly the need to support the debate which is eroding a woman’s right to choose. This will bring home the dilemmas many women face in real life to a whole new audience and may facilitate some interesting parent/child TV dinner conversations.

Journal: January 2012 and News

3 Feb, 12 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

The January edition of the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care includes a number of articles previously available at Online First (the Dinger/Shapiro VTE commentary, Advances in IUD training by Connolly & Rybowski and Brown’s study looking at young mens’ views on contraception) as well as:

  • a thought-provoking commentary by Raine-Fenning et al on pregnancy of unknown location (PUL) which points out that a recent recommendation from CMACE to abandon the term is at odds with current scientific evidence and clinical experience;
  • a commentary by Wilkins of the Men’s Health Forum on men and sexual health;
  • a study by Draper et al on 525 GP fittings over a period of 30 years confirms that routine IUD checks confer no benefit.  The paper suggested that current guidelines recommend annual checks though this is based on a statement from Australia dated 2007 and USA advice from 2000 and ignores more up to date FSRH and WHO guidance;
  • a questionnaire study of clinic attendees and staff about what we should call ‘attendees’. This appears to show that there is a preference to retain the term ‘patient’ but was based on the respondents picking from only 4 options (‘patient’, ‘client’, ‘user’ or ‘customer’ – ie didn’t include ‘women’ and ‘men’) or asking them what they would prefer to be called;
  • Kipp et al highlight the unmet need for effective methods of FP in HIV+ individuals in rural Uganda;
  • womens’ views of the use of their leftover LBC samples for research purposes (Cooper et al);
  • an important restrospective audit comparing unscheduled reattendance among women having EMA (early medical abortion) at home vs hospital (Astle et al);
  • a review of appropriate use of Co-cyprindiol in a general practice (Tandy);
  • a review of Clomifene use for ovulation induction in general practice (Wilkes & Murdoch)

Plus at Online First on 31 January 2012: Encouraging IUD uptake after medical TOP [Cameron et al.] 

Sharon Cameron and her colleagues in Edinburgh created a fast-track referral service so that women who had undergone early medical abortion who wished to use intrauterine contraception afterwards could be seen promptly for IUD/IUS fitting. However, only about half the women who were given appointments actually attended. In their article they analyse the differences between the attenders and the non-attenders and suggest ways to enhance the uptake of these effective methods for the prevention of further unwanted pregnancies. While some women would benefit from IUD/IUS insertion at the place of abortion, provision of a fast-track service to the family planning clinic may yet remain the best strategy for maximising uptake of intrauterine contraception in this specific client group. from David Horwell, Advisory Editor, JFPRHC

Journal Fiction Book Reviews for April 2012:
The fiction book that has been reviewed for the next Journal is:
“Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes.  Read this and see if your views coincide with our reviewer.  If anyone has read “The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides and would like to review it and see their review in print in the April issue please submit a maximum of 400 words to journal@fsrh.org by 12 February at the latest.  In addition, let us know if there are any other books you have read recently that you feel would be of interest to readers.

New GMC Guidance
Two new documents have been published by the GMC: Raising concerns about patient safety and Leadership and management for all doctors 2012 which they “hope will contribute to a culture change within the health service – where raising and acting on concerns becomes part of every day practise in the UK.”

New mobile website for Brook
Brook, the young people’s sexual health charity, have launched a version of their website optimised for viewing on a mobile phone, funded by the JLS Foundation. See a screenshot of the new site below:

Review of the year 2011

6 Jan, 12 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

It has been a busy and eventful year in sexual and reproductive health:

January

saw the launch of the new-look Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care as it joined the BMJ family. Readers will have noticed many improvements, not least the website and early online publishing.

February

The joint Faculty / e-Learning for Health, e-SRH, was named winner in the e-Government National Award: excellence, Learning & Skills section (now renamed UK Public Sector Digital Awards)

March saw the MDU statement: GPs need suitable training to fit contraceptive implants

April saw the Faculty response to EC being made available through pharmacies in Wales

May saw the publication of the new Missed Pill Recommendations

June

saw Chris Wilkinson become the newly elected President of the Faculty and in
July his appoinment was acknowledged in BMA News


August

saw the publication of the Emergency Contraception Guidelines



September
saw the publication of the amended Drug Interactions with Hormonal Contraception and the launch of this Blog !!

October saw the publication of the Combined Hormonal Contraception Guidelines as the world population broke the 7 billion mark.

November
saw the CEU being awarded NHS Accreditation for its guidelines and the publication of the Service Standards for SRH

December
saw the 23rd World AIDS Day with the theme: Getting to Zero

And so to 2012 – wishing all our readers a Happy New Year

Online First & Museums

18 Nov, 11 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

The following 2 articles were published via jfprhc Online First this week:

Advances in intrauterine technique training (Connolly)

This article describes an innovative new way for doctors and nurses to be able to learn how to fit intrauterine devices and systems with realistic simulation, which is much better than a ‘Zoe’. This should increase their confidence and make the first encounter with the ‘live’ patient less stressful for all concerned.  Anne Szarewski (Editor in Chief, jfprhc)

US Administration’s attitude to family planning  (Joseph)

The winner of the 2010 Margaret Jackson Prize Essay for undergraduate medical students has looked at the differences between the Bush and Obama administrations’ attitudes to family planning and abortion. It is taking a long time to reverse the damaging initiatives put in place by the Bush administration: we can only hope that the Right Wing does not triumph in the next election. Anne Szarewski (Editor in Chief, jfprhc)

The following Museum piece was spotted by Toni Belfield (Specialist in sexual health information):
The Phallus Museum in Iceland!

The Icelandic Phallological Museum has the collection of penises of all animals whether on land, sea or air…..  They have plans for a future specimen belonging to Homo sapiens……as reported in The Times 15th November 2011.

and not to forget the more conventional:

Museum of contraception and Abortion (based in Vienna)

Faculty Gains NHS Accreditation for Guidelines

11 Nov, 11 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

The Clinical Effectiveness Unit (CEU) of the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has achieved NHS Accreditation for the process used to produce its guidelines. The NHS Evidence Accreditation Scheme recognises organisations that demonstrate high standards in producing health or social care guidance. It is stated that users of accredited guidance can therefore have high confidence in the quality of the information. In future all CEU guidance will display the Accreditation Mark.

This coincides with the release of the latest clinical guidance: Combined Hormonal Contraception – an updated and extended version of the previous guidance on combined oral contraception published in 2006. There are now clinical guidelines on the vast majority of currently available methods as well as Drug Interactions, Quick Starting (methods), Emergency Contraception and others for specific, special groups. This is in addition to the UK Medical Eligibility Criteria.

The CEU was launched in 2002 and after initially being based in Aberdeen transferred to Sandyford in Glasgow in 2008. The director of the current unit is Dr Louise Melvin and its main tasks are producing evidence based guidance, new product reviews and running the Members Enquiry Service.

Clinical guidelines that are evidence-based are an important element of current clinical practice and underpin clinical competence and governance. Along with training they have the potential to raise standards and improve quality of care, though as their name suggests they are intended to guide clinical care not replace clinical judgement as they are applied to general situations rather than to individuals.  In sexual and reproductive health care CEU guidance and FSRH training is increasingly seen as the gold standard by which clinical care is likely to be judged. An example of this was seen earlier this year in a statement from the MDU in response to an increase in the number of claims related to problems with subdermal implants by GPs. The statement stresses the need for, particularly, GP members to ensure they have appropriate training and should ideally hold a Letter of Competence from the Faculty.

Risk of VTE with combined oral contraceptives

4 Nov, 11 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

Readers are signposted to the Rapid Responses at BMJ Online following last week’s publication of an extended analysis of the Danish Cohort Study on VTE risk with combined oral contraceptives with different progestogens and oestrogen doses.

Volunteers required for CEU guidance
The CEU are looking for volunteers to be involved in the development of the next 3 guidance documents:
Contraceptive choices for women with cardiac disease; Intrauterine contraception; Progestogen-only implants. Details available via the Faculty website.

Young men and contraception  [Brown, published Online First 1 November 2011]
It is rare to see a study looking at young men and their contraceptive views. This pilot study indicates that engaging with young men may be a challenging task. Getting them to talk about contraception and responsibility will be even more so. The young men who participated in the pilot were willing to consider shared responsibility for contraception when talking with the researcher about their contraceptive choices. How these young men view women who take charge of their sexual health reveals a lot about the dynamics of relationship forming and the confusion around contraceptive responsibility felt by young people.
Neelima Deshpande (Associate Editor, JFPRHC)

Brook and FPA launch UK Sexual Health Awards to reward innovation and creativity in sexual health work. There are 6 categories for nominations which close on 31 December. Open to professionals, writers, young people or projects the first awards ceremony is to be held in March 2012, hosted by Davina McCall. Click on the image for more information.

Horror in the 21st Century

28 Oct, 11 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

As Halloween and Trick or Treat approach we face an even greater horror, as Monday 31st October 2011 is the day the world’s population is forecast to crash the 7 billion barrier only 12 years after it passed 6 billion.

Despite overall rates of fertility falling and the basic right of all women to manage their own fertility having been officially recognised at the Cairo Conference in 1994, 215 million women in ‘high fertility’ countries still don’t have access to voluntary contraception. In addition “millions of adolescent girls and boys have little access to sex education and information on how to prevent pregnancies or protect themselves from HIV.” UNFPA report – The State of World Population 2011

As the number of commentators that report and respond to this prediction increases will politicians and others in power finally listen to what ‘family planners’ have been saying for years and concentrate budgets where they can do some good. Or are we in danger of ignoring this situation until it is too late. This, of course, echoes the post of 4 weeks ago that reported Mary Robinson ‘s warning to the UN on the same issue on the 20 year anniversary of the Rio summit and declaration .

UK’s Breast Screening Programme to be Reviewed

The UK’s National Cancer Director, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has ordered an independent review as questions were raised by the Nordic Cochrane Centre’s systematic review over whether screening may do more harm than good. As this controversy could undermine the excellent effects that are achieved by screening it is important to investigate and resolve any uncertainties. As Sara Hiom of Cancer Research UK (who will jointly lead the Review) said “We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the fundamental principle underpinning screening – that earlier diagnosis helps improve outcomes – is right and that screening does help save lives”.

MHRA warns against purchasing HIV and non-compliant tests over the internet

We also hear that non-CE marked tests which claim to diagnose HIV and other STIs, available from a UK-hosted website, could give inaccurate results according to a press release from the MHRA . This is aside from the fact that it is illegal to market HIV tests to the public. The HPA has also been involved in contacting all those known to have purchased the tests but warn others considering using the internet as a way of accessing anonymous testing to check that any product is compliant with regulations.

Good News: another new study confirms what we already knew that The Pill and pregnancy have the biggest impact on reducing ovarian cancer risk –  published in the British Journal of Cancer and part-funded by Cancer Research UK. The greatest protection was afforded by taking the pill for more than 10 years followed by ever users then getting pregnant and having more than one child.

Welcome to the Journal of Family Planning blog

28 Sep, 11 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

My aim is to bring you news, views and information in the field of contraception and sexual health – some of which you may have seen and some not. I hope that as well as highlighting articles and issues from our journal this will signpost current issues and initiatives from the UK and around the world.

It has been an eventful year in contraception with a number of changes for clinical practice and over the coming weeks I will revisit the most important of these.

A round-up of some recent news items includes:

Mary Robinson calls for more funds for Family Planning.

As world leaders collected at the UN in New York last week Mary Robinson, the first woman president of Ireland (1990-1997), UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002, and chairwoman of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health called for them to make good on their promise of 17 years ago at the UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, when they agreed to make contraceptive services available for women all over the world by 2015. http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/robinson-more-funds-for-family-planning-1.3187083

WHO Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use 4th ed wins first prize in the BMA Book Awards (O&G category).

The WHO MEC are the basis from which the UK MEC were developed and underpin clinical practice in contraception and sexual health. The most recent version of the UKMEC was published 2009:http://www.fsrh.org/pdfs/UKMEC2009.pdf

Medscape Education Clinical Briefs report a pooled analysis of 2 studies which seem to demonstrate that Intrauterine Devices Lower Cervical Cancer Risk. This involved 10 case-control studies done in 8 countries, and 16 studies of HPV prevalence from 16 countries looking at risks for cancer of the cervix and HPV in IUD users. http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/749724?src=cmemp

In Rwanda, Africa’s most densely populated country, men are being encouraged to have vasectomies. The no-scalpel procedure is being offered for free according to a report in the Independent Newspaper on 7th September.

Unapproved emergency birth control medicine in U.S. may be ineffective and unsafe. In July the FDA issued a warning to consumers not to buy a product named Evital as they may have been counterfeit. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm265847.htm

I welcome comments from readers and will publish those that I feel will be helpful to others.

Latest from JFPRHC

Latest from JFPRHC