Reproductive Health

Reaching the hard to reach

Martha Campbell
Malcolm Potts
Pouru Bhiwandi

PIP: The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development proposed increasing contraceptive couple protection from 550 million in 1995 to 880 million in 2015. The task for family planning (FP) programs is to provide access to services for, sometimes, inaccessible rural populations. FP need based on desire for no more children has ranged from under 20% in Senegal to almost 80% in Peru. Socioeconomic development was found not to be a prerequisite for fertility change. Gender inequalities in education and social autonomy must be changed. FP access is very important among women with...

Safety implications of transferring the oral contraceptive from prescription-only to over-the-counter status

Malcolm Potts
Colleen Denny

The idea of making oral contraceptives available without prescription has a long history, and has been recently revived in the US and the UK. High dose oral contraceptives have generally been replaced by low dose formulations and, subsequently, most cardiovascular risks have been reduced and a protection against ovarian and uterine cancers has been consistently demonstrated. Oral contraceptive compliance, however, continues to be a problem, but there is no reason to assume that wise practice would be any more or less if oral contraceptives were available over-the-counter (OTC). Some...

Making Cairo work

Malcolm Potts
Julia Walsh

The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development set broad new goals for family planning and reproductive health. The resources available to fund these much needed programmes, however, are much smaller than was originally calculated. To divide the limited budgets for the maximum health impact, likely resource flows need to be set against the cost of various family planning and reproductive health interventions. Preliminary analysis suggests that selection of cost-effective delivery of family planning services would still meet much of the need for family planning, and that...

The most pressing issue

Malcolm Potts

The article discusses the role of medicine profession in supporting access to family planning

Published in J R Soc Med, 1 2000, 93(1):1-2

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Thinking About Vaginal Microbicide Testing

Malcolm Potts

A vaginal microbicide could slow the spread of HIV. To date, volunteers in placebo-controlled trials of candidate microbicides have been counseled to use condoms. This does not reduce the number of volunteers exposed to possible risk, but it shifts the allotment of risk from those conducting the trial to those women who may be least able to make autonomous decisions. Alternative ways of meeting the obligation to offer volunteers active benefits are explored. Counseling the use of condoms prolongs clinical trials and could cause tens of thousands of otherwise avoidable deaths.


Quinacrine sterilization: a middle road

Giuseppe Benagiano
Malcolm Potts

Discussion of female sterilization using the trans-cervical application of quinacrine hydrochloride

Published in Contraception, 11 2001, 64(5):275-6

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Response to Ronald Gray, Male circumcision and HIV acquisition and transmission: cohort studies in Rakai, Uganda

Daniel T Halperin
Helen A Weiss
Richard Hayes
Bertran Auvert
Robert C Bailey
Jack Caldwell
Thomas Coates
Nancy Padian
Malcolm Potts
Allan Ronald
Roger Short
Brian Williams
Jeffrey Klausner

This response article discussed the potential role of male circumcision in HIV prevention

Published in AIDS, 3 29 2002, 16(5):810-2; author reply 809-10

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Op-Ed Climate Change & Women’s Health

Daisy Valdivieso

Climate Change & Women’s Health

Climate Change is an immense issue which leaves neither humans nor habitats unaffected by its breadth. That said, it will affect vulnerable groups disproportionately. The New York Times article “Study Warns of Cascading Health Risks from the Changing Climate” pays attention to vulnerable populations, like the elderly and those who work in labor industries exposed to the heat. But where is there discussion of women’s reproductive health?

Women’s empowerment and family planning have been gaining momentum in relation to climate change...

Making family planning accessible in resource-poor settings

Ndola Prata

It is imperative to make family planning more accessible in low resource settings. The poorest couples have the highest fertility, the lowest contraceptive use and the highest unmet need for contraception. It is also in the low resource settings where maternal and child mortality is the highest. Family planning can contribute to improvements in maternal and child health, especially in low resource settings where overall access to health services is limited. Four critical steps should be taken to increase access to family planning in resource-poor settings: (i) increase knowledge...