June-July 2005: Birth Control

New York State Senate Rules in Favor of EC at Any Age New Hampshire Makes the Morning After Pill (EC) More Available Study: The Pill May Cause Permanent Loss of Sex Drive Male Contraceptive Pill Concern About Spermicide Nonoxynol-9 Continues to Increase Nonoxynol-9 Adversely Affects Female Endometrium NEW YORK STATE SENATE RULES IN FAVOR OF EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION AT ANY AGE – The NY Senate ruled 34-27 to provide morning-after pills over the counter to girls and women without a physician’s visit or prescription and without parental consent regardless of the patient’s age. The medication could be provided by any pharmacist, nurse or midwife who gets a blanket prescription from a physician. [23June05, Wash, DC; Joe DeCook, MD, for AAPLOG, 6July2005] NH HOUSE MAKES MORNING AFTER PILL MORE AVAILABLE  — The New Hampshire legislature has again approved a measure that would allow pharmacists to sell the morning after pill [EC] without a prescription. On 25May, the state House approved the bill on a 195-169 vote after it received backing from the state Senate. Unlike last year, when Governor Benson vetoed the measure, Gov. John Lynch has promised to sign the bill. The effort to amend the legislation to limit access, failed on a 225-141 vote. Supporters of the amendment argued that teenagers should not be given access to the drug without parental involvement. “Would you want your 12-, 13-, 14- or 15 year-old daughters getting emergency contraception as easily as they can buy Advil?” asked Salem Rep. Bettencourt who introduced the age limit [AP report]. Other lawmakers said the Plan B pills would encourage teens to engage in risky sexual behavior...

Gel Tested for "Safer Sex" (2/05)

Doctors at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine have tested a gel that when applied topically in the vagina, may help prevent infection by both H.I.V. and herpes simplex virus. AIDS researchers have long sought such a microbicide. The effectiveness of the gel, called PRO 2000 and made by Indevus Pharmaceuticals, was shown in a pilot study of 20 H.I.V.-infected women. Ten were treated intravaginally with PRO 2000, and 10 with a placebo gel. An hour later, secretions were collected and examined for evidence of viral infection. The study found that the gel significantly reduced virus levels while causing no inflammatory response, and a new 14-day study is under way to test whether repeated applications will cause unacceptable side effects. A much larger study of the effectiveness of the gel has been financed and is to include more than 3,000 women at nine different sites, Dr. Keller said. Dr. Betsy Herold [senior author of the study, professor of pediatrics and microbiology, Mount Sinai] referred to the unfortunate experience with nonoxynol-9, once believed to be protective against H.I.V. but now thought to increase the risk of viral transmission by irritating mucosal lining in men and women. [Dr. Marla J. Keller, a professor of medicine and the lead author on the study, presented the data at the 12th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston on 24Feb05;  8Mar05, New York Times VITAL SIGNS, By NICHOLAS...

Nonoxynol-9 (2002-2004): 3 articles

During the XIII International AIDS Conference held in Durban, South Africa, July 2000, researchers from the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) presented results of a study of a product, COL-1492,* which contains nonoxynol-9 (N-9) (1). N-9 products are licensed for use in the United States as spermicides and are effective in preventing pregnancy, particularly when used with a diaphragm. The study examined the use of COL-1492 as a potential candidate microbicide, or topical compound to prevent the transmission of HIV and STDs. The study found that N-9 did not protect against HIV infection and may have caused more transmission. The women who used N-9 gel became infected with HIV at approx. a 50% higher rate than women who used the placebo gel. CDC has released a “Dear Colleague” letter that summarizes the findings and implications of the UNAIDS study at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv; a hard copy is available from the National Prevention Information Network, telephone (800) 458-5231. Future consultations will be held to re-evaluate guidelines for HIV, STDs, and pregnancy prevention in populations at high risk for HIV infection.   FDA ANSWERS QUESTIONS REGARDING PRODUCTS CONTAINING NONOXYNOL-9 (N-9)The Food and Drug Administration answered questions on Monday, June 21, 2004 that were asked earlier in the year by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources. In their response, the FDA stated that studies show that Nonoxynol-9 (N-9) does NOT protect against HIV/AIDS and other STDs, but is unsure if it actually increases the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. While the FDA will allow vaginal contraceptive devices containing N-9 to stay on the market, they will require a...

October 2004: 2 Birth Control Articles

Depo Provera May Triple STD Risk Research on Experimental Anti-AIDS Gel Dropped by British Lab  Depo Provera Increases Chance of Chlamydia, GonorrheaWomen who use the injected contraceptive Depo-Provera have a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases, U.S. researchers [National Institutes of Health, UNC, and Johns Hopkins Univ in Baltimore] reported. This holds true even when behavior and other factors are taken into account. It is possible that Depo-Provera itself causes a susceptibility to STDs… CONTRACEPTIVE MAY TRIPLE  STD RISK: Depo Provera Increases Chance of Chlamydia, GonorrheaWomen who use the injected contraceptive Depo-Provera have a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases, U.S. researchers [National Institutes of Health, UNC, and Johns Hopkins Univ in Baltimore] reported. This holds true even when behavior and other factors are taken into account. It is possible that Depo-Provera itself causes a susceptibility to STDs [Charles Morrison of Family Health Int’l in Research Triangle Park, N.C., who led the study]“We did adjust for differences in condom use, differences in multiple partners, differences in the number of sexual coital acts,” Morrison said. Inner-city and younger women also had a higher risk of STDs, but using Depo-Provera added to the risk, the study found.  Morrison said the researchers were especially concerned because Depo-Provera or its generic equivalent are being increasingly used in Africa, where STDs such as the AIDS virus are very common. He said women who use Depo-Provera to prevent pregnancy should take extra care if they are in relationships in which either they or their partner have sex with other people. Like birth control pills, Depo-Provera provides no protection from an infection such as syphilis, gonorrhea or the...

Birth Control Archive 2000-2001

ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES CONTAINING CYPROTERONE INCREASE RISK OF DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS: four times more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis, or venous blood clots, than those taking OCs that contain levonorgestrel. Deep vein thrombosis can cause potentially fatal pulmonary embolism if blood clots travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs. The retrospective case-control study of 24,401 women ages of 16-39, 1992-1999. Of the 26 cases and 144 controls, 14 cases and 114 controls had taken OCs with levonorgestrel, and 12 cases and 30 controls had taken OCs with cyproterone. The analysis also showed that duration of exposure did not affect risk of venous thromboembolism after cyproterone exposure (Lancet, 10/27). Cyproterone is found in “so-called third-generation” birth control pills, which contain more progestin than older versions, such as those that contain levonorgestrel [Research letter, 27Oct01, Vasilakis-Scaramozza/Jick, (Boston Univ School of Medicine) Lancet Reuters Health, 10/26; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Reports, 10/29] NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF VASECTOMY – research indicates that 2% – 33% of vasectomy patients experience some form of long-term post-vasectomy pain. [Verajankorva, et al, “”Sperm antibodies in rat models of male hormonal contraception and vasectomy”, Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 1999.; Roberts, Is Vasectomy Worth the Risk? Sunshine Sentinel Press, 1993; Sandlow & Kreder, “A change in practice”, Fertility and Sterility, 8/96; Raspa, “Complications of Vasectomy, American Family Physician, 11/93; www.dontfixit.org]   FDA APPROVES WORLD’S 1st PATCH CONTRACEPTIVEOrtho-Evra emits through the skin low doses of the same hormones used in birth control pills — but used weekly instead of daily like a pill. But the FDA, in approving the matchbook-sized beige patch, warned that Ortho-Evra may not work as...