Author Affiliations: Yamagata University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Yamagata City,Yamagata Prefecture, Japan (Dr Goto); and Harvard School of Public Health, Departments of Population and International Health (Drs Goto and Reich) and Maternal and Child Health (Dr Aitken), Boston, Mass.
Letter From Section Editor: Annette Flanagin,
RN, MA, Managing Senior Editor.
Japan approved the use of low-dose oral contraceptives (OCs) in June
1999, after more than 35 years of debate. The debate leaves a legacy of misinformation
about and various sources of resistance to OCs. Benefits are expected to include
greater control for women over their fertility and a reduction in the high
rates of unplanned pregnancies and abortions. Successful implementation of
the new policy will require a new emphasis on women's health, including the
provision of accurate information about OCs and their associated adverse effects,
a women-centered approach to gynecological practice, and the promotion of
condoms as protection from sexually transmitted diseases, rather than as contraception
Goto A, Reich MR, Aitken I. Oral Contraceptives and Women's Health in Japan. JAMA. 1999;282(22):2173-2177. doi:10.1001/jama.282.22.2173