Please note: This archive was last updated in 2005.

RHO archives : Topics : Contraceptive Methods


Updated: December 4, 2003

Listed below are useful web resources on contraceptive methods, their medical eligibility criteria, and family planning program considerations.

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If you know of a resource to be included in this list, please send the URL (web address) and a description to: [email protected].


Contraception Online
Developed by the Baylor College of Medicine, Contraception Online provides information on contraceptive, family planning, and reproductive health topics for physicians (CME) and allied health professionals. Resources include a Slide Library with talking points and references, which readers can download and use to create a customized presentation, and Online Meetings, which enable readers to view CME talks by leaders in reproductive health. The website is also the home of the Contraception Report, which offers regularly updated, online CME monographs addressing current topics in contraception and reproductive health, including patient education.

Global Reproductive Health Forum
The contraception section of this extensive site has more than 25 links to organizations and publications as well as lists of listservs, bulletin boards, and online magazines about contraceptive issues. The site is designed by Harvard School of Public Health to promote networking and an exchange of perspectives on gender, rights, and reproductive health issues.

The Health Manager's Toolkit
The Health Manager's Toolkit is a collection of management tools designed by Management Sciences for Health. Topics include logistics, planning, and training. Tools are available online in a variety of formats.

Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University
The Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, conducts research, advances scientific information, and provides technical resources related to natural family planning and fertility awareness. Their website includes training tools, research updates, and publications that are provided at no cost to individuals and organizations in developing countries.

Journal of the American Medical Women's Association (JAMWA)
This site includes the Fall 1998 special issue of the Journal of the American Women's Medical Association (volume 53, number 5), which includes 16 articles on emergency contraception Available at:

Media/Materials Clearinghouse - Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs JHU/CCP
The Media/Materials Clearinghouse (M/MC) is an international resource for health professionals who seek media or materials on family planning, reproductive health, and related issues. Based at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHU/CCP), the M/MC is funded by the United States Agency for International Development to improve the quality of reproductive health communication in developing countries.

PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health): Materials for Diverse Audiences
These publications contain information on emergency contraception in 13 languages (Amharic, Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese, English, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Laotian, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese). There are two sets of materials: Emergency Contraception: It's Not Too Late To Prevent Pregnancy, a tri-fold brochure intended to increase people's awareness and provide a simple explanation of emergency contraception, when it is used, possible side effects, and where to get it; and Instructions for Use of Emergency Contraceptive Pills, which provides detailed information on different brands of oral contraceptives that can be used for emergency contraception, when and how to take the pills, the correct doses, and possible side effects. Both the brochures and instructions for use are prototype materials designed to be downloaded from the website and photocopied or adapted as needed.

Reproductive Health Technologies Project
This site provides valuable information about reproductive health issues, including emergency contraception (providers, emergency contraception, media campaigns, and free pamphlets and education materials), microbicide research, early abortion, IUDs, and advocacy for reproductive rights.

ReproLine: Reproductive Health Online
ReproLine offers specific information about contraceptive methods and also covers some other reproductive health topics, including family planning program issues. The site is designed and maintained by the JHPIEGO Corporation for use by teachers, trainers, and policy makers with a technical or clinical background who are involved in setting policy for service delivery systems. Of particular interest at this site is the online version of Recommendations for Updating Selected Practices in Contraceptive Use: Results of a Technical Meeting (, which was prepared by the Technical Guidance Working Group. The site also provides information and presentation materials on various family planning methods (

Reproductive Health and Rights Center Contraceptive Methods page
This page includes an extensive collection of links to sources of information on contraceptive methods, including their description, effectiveness, instructions, advantages, and disadvantages. Most links are to university health services in the United States.

SEATS II: Family Planning and Service Expansion and Technical Support Project
This USAID-funded project has made many full-text publications available online on issues pertaining to high-quality, client-centered, sustainable family planning and reproductive health services in developing countries. John Snow, the American College of Nurse Midwives, PATH, EngenderHealth, International, Initiatives, and World Education implement this project.

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Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI)
AGI produces numerous materials, including articles, brochures, and comprehensive information on contraception. Use the search feature to locate articles from International Family Planning Perspectives and other relevant material.

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP)
ARHP is an interdisciplinary association of professionals who provide reproductive health services or education, conduct reproductive health research, or influence reproductive health policy in the United States. Their website includes patient-education materials about contraceptive choices, continuing medical-education information, and publications on many aspects of reproductive health. ARHP educational programs focus on family planning, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, menopause, sexuality, reproductive cancers, urogenital disorders, infertility, and abortion.

Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health
Very rich source for family planning and reproductive health information. The site hosts PopInform, Media/Materials Clearinghouse (M/MC), Population Reports, Videoshare, NetLinks, and ImageBase. It is also home to Jim Shelton's "Pearls," which features a weekly response to commonly asked questions about family planning.

Contraceptive Research and Development Program (CONRAD)
CONRAD's primary objective is the development of new or improved contraceptive methods that are safe, effective, acceptable, and suitable for use in the United States and developing countries. The site describes CONRAD's grant programs and lists workshops they have presented.

EngenderHealth (formerly AVSC International) works worldwide to improve the lives of individuals by making reproductive health services safe, available, and sustainable. They provide technical assistance, training, and information, with a focus on practical solutions that improve services where resources are scarce. They work in partnership with governments, institutions, and health care professionals to ensure that individuals have the right to make informed decisions about their reproductive health and to receive care that meets their needs.

Family Health International (FHI)
FHI works to improve reproductive health around the world, with an emphasis on developing countries. This site includes more than 1,000 full-text articles and other materials (books, reports, training materials) on family planning and contraceptive methods, making it one of the largest online collections on this topic. The publications page ( lists issues of Network that focus on oral contraceptives, barrier methods, and IUDs. Their site also provides access to A Guide to Research Findings on the Cairo Consensus (, which was produced by the Population Reference Bureau and the Population Council for the Task Force on Communicating Research Findings. The site also provides information for program planners and others on the appropriate role of the female condom ( in reproductive health programs, as well as helpful research briefs about related key issues ( The site and its contents are available in English, Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish.

Global Campaign for Microbicides
The Global Campaign for Microbicides is a broad-based, international effort to build support among policy makers, opinion leaders, and the general public for increased investment into microbicides and other user-controlled prevention methods. The campaign works via its secretariat (PATH) and member groups to cultivate awareness and demand for microbicides and to translate that demand into concrete political action. Through advocacy, policy analysis, and social science research, the campaign works to accelerate product development, facilitate widespread access and use, and protect the needs and interests of users, especially women. The site includes information about microbicides and the female condom.

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
IPPF links national, autonomous Family Planning Associations (FPAs) in more than 150 countries worldwide. They are committed to promoting the right of women and men to decide freely the number and spacing of their children and the right to the highest possible level of sexual and reproductive health. Their Web site hosts the complete text of the IPPF Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, as well as headline news and ordering information for their publications.

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Contraceptive Research and Programs
This clinical research program is investigating two new barrier methods of contraception (Lea's Shield and Femcap), a single implant hormonal contraceptive (Implanon), and a combination hormonal monthly injection (Lunelle). The site describes additional areas of research and provides contact information.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch
This branch of the NICHD develops and supports research and research-training programs in reproductive health, epidemiology, and contraceptive technology. Their 1999 report ( provides information about contraceptive research and development in the United States, prevention of HIV/AIDS/STIs, research highlights, and future directions of contraceptive technology.

PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health)
This site provides numerous resources related to family planning and reproductive health. The Women's Health page ( ) includes links to information on contraceptive production, emergency contraception, a new diaphragm, and related issues. The site also provides information about increasing access to emergency contraceptive pills ( and the female condom (

Pathfinder International
Pathfinder works with institutions worldwide to improve access to good quality reproductive health information and services and to enable reproductive health choices. This site includes a range of publications, training protocols, and other useful information.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Planned Parenthood develops a variety of publications on sexual and reproductive health, contraception, and STIs for U.S. readers. The Birth Control section describes contraceptive methods with a user focus.

Population Action International (PAI)
PAI advocates the expansion of voluntary family planning, other reproductive health services, and educational and economic opportunities for girls and women. This page lets readers order a wall chart on "Contraceptive Choice: Worldwide Access to Family Planning 1997." The chart highlights the progress countries have made in expanding access to contraception in recent years and shows how far many developing and some developed countries still need to go to make the full range of contraceptive options available.

The Population Council
The Population Council is an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental institution that carries out a range of reproductive health research and policy work. The council provides many publications and working papers that are available through this site. The site provides information on programs, such as the Robert H. Ebert Program  (, that aim to improve women's health services by considering the full spectrum of reproductive health from contraception and prevention of STIs to postpartum care and infant health. Population Council staff have conducted research on a wide range of reproductive health issues in Mexico for over two decades. Information about some of the Population Council's recent projects in Mexico ( on topics such as emergency contraception, family planning, and informed consent in method choice is available in English and Spanish. Other Population Council work includes:

  • The Population Council's Center for Biomedical Research (, which undertakes basic research in the reproductive sciences and develops technologies that enable individuals to have safe, planned pregnancies, and that promote their reproductive health. The center has developed four types of copper IUDs, a Norplant contraceptive implant system, Jadelle (a two-rod levonorgestrel implant), and Mirena (the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system).
  • The council's Contraceptive Development Program (, which develops new contraceptive methods to increase the reproductive choices for women and men and to meet the needs of underserved groups. They currently are focused on  two Population Council steroids: Nestorone for female contraception and MENT™ for men. Areas of product development for  women include implant technology, intrauterine delivery systems, gels and patches for transdermal delivery systems, and vaginal rings. Areas of male contraceptive development covers immunocontraception, implants, and transdermal delivery systems.

United Nations Development Program/United Nations Population Fund/World Health Organization/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development & Research Training in Human Reproduction (WHO/HRP)
WHO/HRP is the major research arm of WHO's overall reproductive health program. A wide selection of HRP's technical reports, newsletters, and annual reports are available full text online.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is a multilateral organization working to improve reproductive health worldwide. The website includes publications and information related to numerous family planning and reproductive health issues.

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Contraceptive methods

Billings Ovulation Method of Natural Family Planning
The Billings Ovulation Method is based on observations of changes in cervical mucus secretion throughout a woman's menstrual cycle. By observing the presence or absence of cervical mucus, a woman can identify fertile and infertile times. This Australian site includes articles, charts, and instruction materials about the Billings method.

Cervical Cap Limited
This commercial site contains information about the cervical cap from its manufacturer.

Consortium for Emergency Contraception
The Consortium for Emergency Contraception is an international collaboration among eight organizations committed to making a dedicated product for emergency contraception a standard part of reproductive health care around the world. Their website contains comprehensive information about ECPs, including common questions and answers, medical and service delivery guidelines, information on training for health professionals and developing local ECP programs, and information for clients. The site is available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Emergency Contraception Web Site
Maintained by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, this site provides accurate information, based on the medical literature, about emergency contraception. It focuses on U.S. service provision, but includes a page entitled "Emergency Contraception Around the World" (, which provides country-specific information on oral contraceptives that can be used for emergency contraception. This website is available in English, French, Spanish, and, most recently, Arabic.

The Female Health Company
The Female Health Company manufactures and distributes the female condom. This site lists international distributors and public health partners, explains how to use the condom, provides updates on acceptability studies, and reports on social marketing efforts. It also includes instructions for use.

Georgetown University Institute for Reproductive Health
Part of Georgetown University's School of Medicine and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Institute for Reproductive Health conducts research, advances scientific information, and provides policy support in natural family planning and fertility awareness. Formed in 1985, the institute's work currently focuses on investigating and developing new natural family planning approaches; improving and streamlining service delivery for NFP methods; and assisting in the integration of NFP into family planning and reproductive health programs. This site also links to recent publications and updates of current research.

POPLINE (POPulation information onLINE) is the world's largest bibliographic database on population, family planning, and related health issues. It is produced by the Population Information Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development. POPLINE provides citations with abstracts for several hundred thousand records representing published and unpublished literature in the field. Readers can search on numerous contraceptive topics, including oral contraceptives, condoms, female condoms, IUDs, natural family planning, and injectable contraceptives. POPLINE is available free of charge on CD-ROM for developing-country organizations, as are specialized searches and full-text copies of most articles.

Topics: Natural Family Planning
This site organizes and presents in one location all the materials from the Johns Hopkins University/Center for Communication Programs online resources on the topic of Natural Family Planning, including links to the Media and Materials Clearinghouse and to POPLINE digital services.

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