Substance use disorder: contraceptive options counseling

What’s New in Contraception?

Contraceptive Technology Conference!

Biologic sexism of STIs

Excess breast cancer deaths after COVID-19

Contraception for patients with medical conditions

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Treating vulvodynia

Puzzling Over the Hurt Down-Under

Serious Mental Illness and Contraception

New 13-Cycle Vaginal Contraceptive System

The Future of Family Planning in Post-COVID America

New ASCCP Guidelines: Implications for FP

On the alert: mood disorders during 2020 stressors

Sex in the Time of COVID-19

Challenges old and new during the pandemic

Reproductive health in the time of Covid-19

Talking about toys

Missed Pills: The Problem That Hasn’t Gone Away

Find the “yes! . . . and” rather than “no” or “but”

Digital Family Planning: the Future is Now

Irregular Bleeding Due to Contraceptives

When she’s low on libido…

Ouch! Best approaches to menstrual pain

Contraceptive efficacy: understanding how user and method characteristics play their part

Strategizing treatment for chronic heavy menstrual bleeding


Untangling the literature on obesity and contraception

High tech apps for no-tech FABM

Menstrual exacerbation of other medical conditions

From Princeton University: Thomas James Trussell (1949-2018)

The Short and Long of IUD Use Duration

Selecting a Method When Guidance Isn’t Clear-cut

Healthcare in the Time of Digital Expansion

The Scoop on Two New FDA-Approved Contraceptive Methods

Pregnancy of unknown location—meeting the challenge

Big “yes” (with caveats) to CHCs during perimenopause

The role of IUDs (LNG IUDs, too!) in emergency contraception

Combined pills’ effect on mood disorders

Abortion in the U.S.: safe, declining, and under threat

Hope for ovarian cancer screening test

Breast cancer still a small risk with some hormonal contraceptives

New treatment modality for BV

Record rate of HPV-related throat cancer

Viruses in semen potentially transmissible

Don’t Abstain from Your Role in Abstinence

Teens births declining but geographic ‘hotspots’ defy trend

Online Medical Abortion Service Effective and Safe

Do Women Really Need to Wait That Long?

Reassuring news on depression and OC use

PMDD: Genetic clues may lead to improved treatment

Breast cancer risk when there is a family history

Body weight link to breast and endometrial cancers (and 11 others)

Family Planning in 2017 and Beyond

Make Me Cry: Depression Link (Again)?

Managing implant users’ bleeding and spotting

Zika: Updated guidance for providers

Pharmacist-prescribed contraceptives

Hot off the press! 2016 MEC and SPR

Zika virus fears prompt increased request for abortion in nations outlawing abortions

Opioid use epidemic among reproductive-age women

Good news on the family planning home front!

War Against Planned Parenthood Hurts Women

Win-win for both treatment and prevention

Center of the Storm


Menopause, mood, mental acuity, and hormone therapy

Emergency contraception for teens

Postpartum Contraception: Now, Not Later

Reproductive tract infections, sexually transmitted infections, or sexually transmitted diseases: “a rose by any other name…”

Are we practicing what we preach?

Be alert to VTE in hormonal contraceptive users

LARC among teens increased 15-fold, but not enough

Brain cancer and hormonal contraception

Free tools: Easy access to the US Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use

Alcohol consumption when pregnancy is unwanted or unintended

Latest Data on Contraceptive Use in the United States

LateBreaker sampler from Contraceptive Technology conference

Emergency Contraceptive Pill Efficacy and BMI/Body Weight

Handout on Unintended Pregnancy and Contraceptive Choice

Ask About Withdrawal (Really!)

Rules to Practice By: Safety First and Cleanliness is Close to. . .

What’s Vanity Fair Got Against the NuvaRing?

Promising New Treatment for Hepatitis C

Numbers matter, so make them simple for patients

The Recession’s Effect on Unintended Pregnancies

Lessons Learned from the Contraceptive CHOICE Project: The Hull LARC Initiative

Applying the “New” Cervical Cytology Guidelines in Your Practice

Acute Excessive Uterine Bleeding: New Management Strategies

Medical indications for IUD use in teens

Whatever happened to PID?

Update on Emergency Contraception New and Improved

Promising New Treatment for Hepatitis C
June 2014


Broad-range efficacy from new short-course regimens with ledipasvir/sofosbuvir in a single-tablet holds promise for treating persons infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Of the estimated 2.7 to 3.9 million Americans chronically infected with HCV, anywhere from 50% to 75% are undiagnosed and untreated. [1]  Nearly half of infected persons report no exposure that would have put them at risk, such as injection- or intranasal drug use, acquiring a tattoo in unregulated parlors, incarceration, needle-stick in a health care setting, and other invasive medical procedures, etc. In its acute phase, HCV is usually asymptomatic and so unsuspected. However, anywhere from 75% to 85% of infected persons will develop a chronic infection, and with it, an increased risk for cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and diabetes.

Fortunately, chronic HCV can curable with a sustained virologic response to treatment, leading to reduced risk of diabetes and improved liver histology. Recent studies have focused on finding a short-course, well-tolerated regimen. In May 2014, a multicenter research group reported successful outcomes following three short-course regimens. In a randomized trial, 647 patients infected with HCV genotype 1 uncomplicated by cirrhosis were assigned to three treatment groups: ledipasvir and sofosbuvir for12 weeks, ledipasvir and sofosbuvir for 8 weeks, or ledipasvir and sofosbuvir plus ribavirin for 8 weeks.[2]

Patients on all three regimens developed a high rate of sustained virologic response—12-week regimen, 95%; 8-week, 93%; added ribavirin regimen, 94%. The differences were statistically insignificant. At the end of therapy, only 23 patients relapsed overall. Treatment response did not differ with varying patient characteristics, suggesting that there is no need to tailor treatment regimens for HCV-infected persons who have not been treated before and are currently without cirrhosis. The single-tablet ledipasvir-sofosbuvir combination appears effective across a broad range of patients. Patients taking the regimen with added ribavirin suffered more adverse effect without increase in treatment efficacy.

In 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[3] recommended screening guidelines that may help bring about earlier diagnosis, before serious complications occur. With earlier diagnosis, affected persons may be less likely to develop liver disease and other extra-hepatic conditions through early treatment. Current guidelines recommend HCV testing based on known risk factors and clinical indications, and one-time screening for persons born from 1945 to 1965. CDC discourages routine testing among low-risk populations, which can lead to false-positive results.

[1] Holmberg SD, Spradling PR, Moorman AC, Denniston MM. Hepatitis C in the United States. N Engl J Med 2013;368:1859-61.

[2] Kowdly KV, Gordon SC, Reddy KR, et al. Ledipasver and sofosbuvir for 8 or 12 weeks for chronic HCV without cirrhosis. N Engl J Med 2014; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1402355. Accessed May 9, 2014.

[3] Screening for hepatitis C virus infection in adults: final recommendation statement. Rockville, MD: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, June 25, 2013. Accessed May 31, 2014 at http:// uspstf12/hepc/hepcfinalrs.htm.

–Deborah Kowal, MA, PA, President & CEO, Contraceptive Technology Communications, Inc