WHO updates suggestions to information household planning selections

PATTAYA, 15th November 2022 — As we speak
the World Well being Group (WHO) launched essential updates to its landmark Family Planning Handbook, which
offers well being staff and coverage makers with probably the most present data on contraceptive choices.

Drawing on classes from latest outbreaks, this new version particulars tangible measures for frontline well being staff to guard entry to household planning providers throughout emergencies, equivalent to wider entry to self-administered contraceptives and the usage of
digital applied sciences by suppliers. It additionally expands steerage for ladies and younger individuals at excessive threat of HIV.

“Household planning promotes self-actualisation, empowerment, in addition to well being and wellbeing, and reduces maternal and toddler deaths by way of the prevention of unintended being pregnant and unsafe abortion,” stated Dr Pascale Allotey, WHO’s Director for Sexual and Reproductive Well being and Rights.
“This updated Family Planning Handbook is a crucial useful resource, serving to well being staff assist contraceptive customers all over the world in making knowledgeable selections about the precise contraceptive choices for them.”

Expertise from latest outbreaks reveals that household planning providers could be severely compromised throughout emergencies. Throughout the preliminary phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, roughly 70% of nations reported disruptions to those very important providers – intensifying dangers of unintended pregnancies
and sexually transmitted infections.

To assist keep away from such outcomes sooner or later, the guide particulars sensible measures that assist continuity of household planning providers throughout epidemics. These embody wider entry to self-administered contraceptives, and direct distribution of contraceptives
by way of pharmacies. Well being practitioners also can take steps to assist ongoing contraceptive entry even the place bodily mobility is decreased, equivalent to offering multi-month provides.

Self-administered contraceptives embody condoms, contraceptive tablets, some diaphragms, spermicides and most lately, the choice of self-injection of DMPA (a progestin-only contraceptive) since this could now be safely administered slightly below the pores and skin
relatively than into the muscle. Many ladies desire injectable contraceptives since they’re personal and non-intrusive, requiring motion solely ever 2-3 months, with the choice of self-injection prone to additional enhance uptake.

“The up to date suggestions on this Handbook present that nearly any household planning technique can be utilized safely by all ladies, and that accordingly, all ladies ought to have entry to a variety of choices that meet their distinctive wants and objectives in life,”
Dr. Mary Gaffield, Scientist and lead writer of the Handbook. “Household planning providers could be supplied safely and affordably in order that irrespective of the place they reside, {couples} and people are in a position to select from secure and efficient
household planning strategies.”

For the primary time, the 2022 version of the Handbook features a devoted chapter to information household planning providers for ladies and adolescents at excessive threat of HIV, together with individuals dwelling in settings the place there’s excessive HIV prevalence, those that have a number of
sexual companions, or whose common companion resides with HIV. 

Whereas solely condoms shield in opposition to HIV and different sexually transmitted infections, all contraceptive choices – with the only exception of nonoxynol-9 spermicide – are actually considered safe for ladies and younger individuals at excessive threat of HIV, i.e. haven’t been discovered to extend threat of HIV
transmission or acquisition of an infection. For these at excessive threat of HIV, the guide states that testing, counselling and first-line medical care and referrals ought to all be supplied as a part of household planning providers.

As well as, the Handbook incorporates the newest WHO steerage on cervical most cancers and pre-cancer prevention, screening and treatment which might all be supplied by way of household planning providers; management of sexually transmitted infections, and family planning in postabortion care.

Now in its fourth version, WHO’s Household Planning Handbook is probably the most broadly used reference information on the subject globally, with over one million copies distributed or downloaded to this point. It’s complemented by the medical eligibility standards software for
contraceptive use, additionally downloadable as a dedicated App.

The updated Handbook was launched on the International Conference of Family Planning in Pattaya, Thailand. Help for its manufacturing and dissemination has been supplied by way of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being and the US Company for Worldwide Growth (USAID). 


Laura Keenan, [email protected] and [email protected]

At ICFP: Sarah Kessler, [email protected]

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