Contraceptive Technology Innovation

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POPLINE is the world’s largest free database of family planning and reproductive health literature. An international resource, POPLINE helps program managers, policy makers, and service providers in low- and middle-income countries and in development-supportive agencies and organizations gain access to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished documents. POPLINE has a wealth of evidence on contraceptive technologies and newer family planning options:

Open access, peer-reviewed journal

Global Health: Science and Practice: Vol. 5, No. 4, December 28, 2017

The Global Health: Science and Practice Journal contains many peer-reviewed articles on contraceptive technology innovations and related topics.

Ali M, Bahamondes L, Bent Landoulsi S. Extended Effectiveness of the Etonogestrel-Releasing Contraceptive Implant and the 20 µg Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System for 2 Years Beyond U.S. Food and Drug Administration Product Labeling. Glob Health Sci Pract. 2017;5(4):534-539. Highly effective LARCs can be an excellent contraceptive choice for clients wishing to avoid unplanned pregnancies. Recent studies find that both the ENG-releasing contraceptive implant and the 20 µg/day LNG IUS are highly effective for at least an additional 2 years beyond their FDA labels—from the current 3-year label for ENG-releasing implants to at least 5 years, and from the current 5-year label for the LNG IUS to at least 7 years—and with far better efficacy than many other contraceptive methods.

Binanga A, Bertrand JT. Pilot Research as Advocacy: The Case of Sayana Press in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Glob Health Sci Pract. 2016;4(4):542–551. The emergence of the injectable contraceptive Sayana Press in some African countries prompted the DRC to test the acceptability and feasibility of distributing Sayana Press and other contraceptive methods at the community level through medical and nursing students. The pilot study obtained Ministry of Health approval to allow medical and nursing students to provide Sayana Press and other methods in the community, paving the way for other task-shifting pilots including self-injection of Sayana Press with supervision by the students as well as injection by community health workers.

Shattuck D, Perry B, Packer C, Quee DC. A Review of 10 Years of Vasectomy Programming and Research in Low-Resource Settings. Glob Health Sci Pract. 2016;4(4):647–660. The authors review areas including misconceptions and lack of knowledge among men, women, and providers; approaches to demand generation including community-based and mass media communications; service delivery innovations consisting of the no-scalpel vasectomy technique, whole-site training, cascade training, task shifting, and mobile outreach; and engagement of religious and community leaders to create an enabling environment.

Shelton JD, Jacobstein R. Vasectomy: A Long, Slow Haul to Successful Takeoff. Glob Health Sci Pract. 2016;4(4):514–517. Vasectomy use is plagued by low demand among men. Nevertheless, its compelling advantages make substantial investment worthwhile. On the supply side, a priority is to actively link vasectomy with service delivery approaches for the other highly effective long-acting and permanent clinical methods. Robust demand generation should include messaging specific to vasectomy, but should also draw on broader social and behavior change communication efforts increasingly aimed at engaging men in family planning.

Singh S, Das V, Agarwal A, Dewan R, Mittal P, Bhamrah R, et al. A Dedicated Postpartum Intrauterine Device Inserter: Pilot Experience and Proof of Concept. Glob Health Sci Pract. 2016;4(1):132-140. In the immediate postpartum time period, there is an opportunity to provide women with contraception they may not otherwise obtain. Post-placental and immediate postpartum insertions of the IUD are associated with more participant benefits than interval insertion. A proof-of-concept study was conducted to determine if a newly developed PPIUD inserter, specifically designed for the post-delivery setting, achieves the primary objectives of fundal placement and acceptable expulsion rates, provider and participant acceptability, and feasibility. Secondary objectives of participant satisfaction and IUD retention were also studied.

Starbird E, Norton M, Marcus R. Investing in Family Planning: Key to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Glob Health Sci Pract. 2016;4(2):191-210. Family planning encompasses the services, policies, information, attitudes, practices, and commodities, including contraceptives, that give women, men, couples, and adolescents the ability to avoid unintended pregnancy and choose whether and/or when to have a child. The authors outline family planning’s links to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and highlight the transformational benefits that voluntary family planning brings to women, families, communities, and countries. They present family planning as a cross-sectoral intervention that can hasten progress across the 5 SDG themes of People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnership.

NICHD Research Activities and Advances

Researching innovation

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, investigates human development throughout the entire life process, with a focus on understanding disabilities and important events that occur during pregnancy. NICHD has long been a source of funding for and expertise on contraception research. Its Research Activities and Advances section highlights its current research goals, including male contraceptive options, multipurpose methods, new delivery methods, and non-hormonal methods to prevent ovulation.

Self-Injection Feasibility and Acceptability (PATH, 2018; PDF, 669KB) provides an overview of PATH’s research studies assessing the feasibility and acceptability of self-injection of subcutaneous DMPA in Uganda and Senegal, where injectable contraceptives are the most commonly used method of family planning. Subcutaneous DMPA (DMPA-SC, Sayana® Press) is a new, easy-to-use injectable contraceptive that is ideally suited for remote access and even self-injection.

Topic last updated: June 05, 2018