Abortifacient effects of a unique class of vasoactive lipids from Pinus ponderosa needles.
Pinus ponderosa needle (PN) ingestion by late pregnant cows results in decreased uterine blood flow, premature parturition, and retained placentae. Further, plasma from PN-fed cows increases caruncular arterial tone (i.e., induces prolonged contraction) in an isolated perfused bovine placentome. A novel class of vasoactive lipids was isolated and identified using a bovine placentome assay-guided fractionation of CH2Cl2 extracts of PN. Placentome perfusion tests indicated that 1-12-dodecanedioyl-dimyristate (14-12-14) was the most potent of the PN lipids for increasing caruncular arterial tone. Late pregnant guinea pigs (GP) were used to evaluate the abortifacient activity of these vasoactive lipids. In Study 1, on d 50 of gestation, part of the control diet was replaced with chopped PN (Diet A) or chopped PN subjected to sequential extraction with diethyl ether (Et2O; Diet B); Et2O and CH2Cl2 (Diet C); and Et2O, CH2Cl2, and methanol (Diet D). The GP on Diets A and B exhibited shorter (P<.01) gestation lengths and reduced (P<.01) pig birth weights than GP on the control diet or Diets C and D. Further, only GP on Diets A and B exhibited retained placentae. In Study 2, on d 50 of gestation, part of the control diet was replaced with chopped PN that had been subjected to exhaustive CH2Cl2 extraction and then infiltrated with either CH2Cl2 alone (Diet E), CH2Cl2 containing 14-12-14 (Diet F), or CH2Cl2 containing isocupressic acid (Diet G); then solvents were evaporated. The GP consuming Diet F had shorter (P<.05) gestation lengths and reduced (P<.05) pig birth weights than did GP consuming Diets E or G. The GP consuming Diet F also exhibited a high incidence of retained placentae. These data provide evidence that a unique class of vasoactive lipids in PN exhibit abortifacient activity in guinea pigs. (+info)
An international study on the acceptability of a once-a-month pill.
Totals of 450 women attending family planning clinics in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Edinburgh, and 468 in Cape Town, completed a questionnaire designed to seek their views on a contraceptive pill which would be taken only once each month. At least two-thirds of the women in all centres liked the idea of a once-a-month pill. In Hong Kong, Cape Town and Edinburgh, women preferred a pill which inhibited ovulation to one which inhibited implantation, while in all centres a pill which worked after implantation (early menstrual inducer) was considered unacceptable by over half the women. A pill which was taken after a missed menstrual period was considered preferable in all centres, perhaps because it would not be used every month but rather only if pregnancy had occurred. No demographic characteristics, contraceptive experiences or beliefs were consistently correlated with attitudes towards a once-a-month pill, except that women who would not consider having an abortion were more likely to dislike a method that either prevented, or worked after, implantation. A once-a-month pill is now technically possible, although the major drawback is the need to determine when it should be taken. It is reassuring that many women from a variety of different cultures and with widely different experiences, would find this an attractive approach to contraception. (+info)
Uterine anomalies and failed surgical termination of pregnancy: the role of routine preoperative transvaginal sonography.
Although used extensively in the assessment of many gynecological conditions, transvaginal ultrasonography is not performed routinely prior to termination of pregnancy in the UK. We describe a case in which surgical evacuation of the uterus failed. Postoperatively, transvaginal ultrasonography demonstrated a bicornuate uterus with a viable pregnancy within the left horn. Subsequent medical termination of pregnancy was successful. This case shows the potential value of transvaginal ultrasonography prior to termination of pregnancy. A prospective trial is needed to assess whether its routine introduction into clinical practice will lead to a reduction in morbidity resulting from termination. (+info)
Reproductive health services in rural Washington State: scope of practice and provision of medical abortions, 1996-1997.
OBJECTIVES: This study explored reproductive health care in rural Washington State, reasons given by providers for not offering abortions, and providers' willingness to use medical abortifacients. METHODS: Physicians, midwives, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in rural Washington completed an inventory of reproductive health services that they provide, whether and why they do not perform abortions, and whether they would use medical abortifacients. RESULTS: Of the respondents, 89.2% reported providing reproductive health care. Only 1.2% reported performing surgical abortions, and 26.1% indicated that they would probably prescribe medical abortifacients. CONCLUSIONS: Few providers offer surgical abortions in rural Washington. Greater numbers report a willingness to prescribe medical abortifacients. (+info)
Attitudes to 'Kaponya Mafumo': the terminators of pregnancy in urban Zambia.
As part of a larger study of adolescent sexual and reproductive health in urban Zambia, the issue of unwanted pregnancy and abortion was considered through the examination of the perceptions of both adolescents and adults. Young people rank sexual health as their primary health issue, and sexual behaviour is integrally linked into other aspects of their lives. Pregnancies were deemed to be a common occurrence amongst the adolescents, with an estimated two-thirds of unwanted pregnancies ending in unsafe abortion. The decision to abort is primarily determined by the reaction of the boyfriend and his willingness to accept paternity and the associated financial implications. Other crucial influences are the desire to stay in school and the stigma attached to unwanted pregnancy. The decision-making process regarding the abortion itself is related to the perceived advantages and disadvantages of various service providers. Around 40% of the respondents stated that in the event of an abortion being carried out, it would be performed either by the girl herself or with the assistance of other non-medical personnel. Less popular but still significant are traditional healers and private doctors. Formal health services tend to be rejected due to their poor perception by young people, centred on the lack of privacy and confidentiality, and the de facto illegal nature of abortion itself. The services of nurses are sought, but outside of the clinic setting. The most popular method of self-induced abortion is overdosing on chloroquine. Other methods involve the use of traditional medicines such as various types of roots, as well as more modern methods such as ingesting washing powder. Recommendations for policy-makers concentrate on the improvement of formal, 'youth friendly' health services and the development of appropriate outreach education methods which address specific concerns widely held by young people. (+info)
Emergency postcoital contraception.
Emergency postcoital contraception, a method used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse, is a highly effective but underutilized birth control option. Two hormone regimens, ethinyl estradiol (100 microg) with levonorgestrel (0.5 mg) or high-dose levonorgestrel (0.75 mg), given within 72 hours of intercourse and repeated 12 hours later, are available for this purpose. These regimens are packaged as Food and Drug Administration labeled, dedicated products or can be adapted for use from standard oral contraceptive pills. Emergency postcoital contraception should be considered as a primary prevention health service to women of childbearing age. (+info)