|Figure 1. Professor Baird: While much can be done by providing better access to existing methods of contraception in some countries, in others fear of side-effects or scarcity of suitable methods leads to one-third of conceptions being unplanned. The development of new methods of contraception would provide more contraceptive choices for both men and women.|| |
| ||The MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit continues fundamental research to improve understanding of male fertility. In the long term this may lead to new approaches to contraception.|
| ||Professor David Baird directs the Contraceptive Development Network (CDN) which is jointly funded by the Medical Research Council and the Department for International Development. The co-ordinating centre for the Network is at the Centre for Reproductive Biology at the University of Edinburgh.|
| ||After establishing the overseas links, the CDN s first objective was to assess how acceptable new methods of contraception would be within the differing cultures of the centres. Carefully structured questionnaires were used to examine attitudes. |
The surveys highlighted the cultural differences in attitudes to contraception which influence whether a new method will gain acceptance in different countries. They also emphasised the need to expand the range of contraceptive methods available to men.
| ||The worlds population over the next 50 years or so will depend to a large extent on what range of contraceptive methods are available to both men and women.|
|Figure 2. Effect of contraception on developing country population growth|