I refer to your article on Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD), which appeared in the Sunday Morning Post, on April 14 and wish to set the record straight on two points.
Firstly, I made it clear to your reporter that the statistics of 12 per cent contraceptive users using IUCD refers to clients of the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong only. Many couples practising contraception do so under the supervision of other health-care providers, and those using barrier methods such as the condom can conveniently obtain contraceptives over the counter. In the last Survey of Family Planning Knowledge, Attitude and Practice, conducted by our association in 1992, we found that 3.9 per cent of ever-users and 5.9 per cent of current users of contraception used the IUCD. The absence of these figures in the story gave the mistaken impression that there were two or three times more IUCD users in Hong Kong than is actually the case.
Secondly, what I said to your reporter was that 'Most women in Hong Kong accepted the traditional IUCD which the Family Planning Association provides to them, after careful client selection, counselling and follow-up. Local people are advisedly a little cautious about taking on new products. The association is open to trying out alternative methods of contraception if these became available, just as we have done in the past. The potential benefits of hormone-bearing IUCD would need to be confirmed in the Chinese population, since most experience to date has been with Western populations.' Dr SUSAN FAN Executive Director The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong Charlotte Parsons replies: Dr Fan did not give me the figures of 3.9 per cent and 5.9 per cent. If she had, I would have been happy to use them.