Women's Health Base

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Archive for January, 2010

NuvaRing investigation: Background information

Posted by hannahflynn on January 27, 2010

An article from Pulse from October 2008 caught my attention today. The article, (here), outlined how plans were made as far back as 2008 to aline LARC availability with NICE guidlines.

They also suggest offering 3 QOF points to surgery’s offering all available contraception to women, including LARCS, amoung other measures.


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Experts back HPV test for cervical smears

Posted by hannahflynn on January 26, 2010

Experts have shown that HPV testing instead of cervical smears may be the best first line of defence in cervical screening.

Results published in the Lancet Oncolcogy showed HPV testing could reduce the number of cervical screenings which a woman need to attend. Researchers compared HPV testing with cytology in 81,220 women aged 25 to 60. In the second round of testing,  done in women who had tested positive for HPV, nine invasive cancers were found in the cytology group.

Combining HPV and cytology testing did not improve sensitivity, suggesting HPV testing alone was responsible for the increased detection of abnormalities.

However, switching to HPV testing will only be recommented for women over the age of 35, as in the  younger age group, HPV testing led to an over-diagnosis of regressive lesions, which, if treated surgically, can cause problems during pregnancy.

Professor Kitchener, who chairs the UK’s cervical screening advisory group, said in Pulse magazine: ‘In an era with a vaccinated cohort of women, there is a higher chance women will test negative for HPV and you can confine cytology to women who are HPV positive.

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Investigation: Help needed

Posted by hannahflynn on January 23, 2010

The NuvaRing, a new form of contraception, was launched in the UK in January 2009 after it was approved by NICE. However, it has become apparent that nearly one year after it was launched many PCTs in the country have listed this form of contraception as RED RED, RED orAMBER on their formularies (a list of which drugs are available to patients) meaning it is unavailable unless a doctor requests it specifically for a patient from the PCT. This is normally only done when there are health risks associated with the patient not receiving a drug.

In the past 18 months there has been increasing pressure to increase the availability of different forms of contraception on the NHS, specifically LARCs (long acting reversible contraception). The NuvaRing is unique in that it lasts a month, and is completely reversible. I has been launched in the US and has become increasingly popular.

I have started an investigation to find out how many PCTs in England and Wales have not made the NuvaRing available to patients. I want to find out which ones have branded it Amber, Red or Red Red and why.

I have left Scotland out of this investigation as the rules concerning formularies are different and it was launched there at a different time.

Here’s how you can help:

Call up your local PCT and ask them how the NuvaRing is branded in your area. Information can be found here.

Call up your local family planning clinic and ask if and how you can access it.

If you have had any problems or have not been happy with your access to contraception via the NHS, please leave your comments below.

Please send any information to hannahbflynn@googlemail.com

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