Thank you birth control pill for all your tireless efforts. Now it's time to step aside.
A new topical contraceptive gel is in the works, and studies so far suggest it's a whole lot better than the original pill. Rubbing this treatment on your arms, legs, shoulders or abdomen on a daily basis, may be just as effective as a means of contraception. Plus, no side effects!
"In a test of 18 women who used it for 7 months, none became pregnant - we assume that, in the name of science of course, they were sexually active at the time - or suffered any serious side effects...[like] sickness, weight gain, or a muted sense of sexual desire," according to Popular Science.
The drug in the gel contains estrogen, like the pill. But it also contains Nestorone, a synthetic form of progesterone. Unlike the patch, the gel doesn't fall off. And unlike the pill, it's safe for women who are breast-feeding.
Dr Ruth Merkatz, director of clinical development of reproductive health at the Population Council in New York, led the study. She found that only a small daily dose of moisture was effective on her subjects, but stresses the need for more tests.
"From this small study we found it was effective," she told the Daily Telegraph. "It's in early stage development but if we move on, we will obviously test it in many, many more women."
The gel is already being developed by a pharmaceutical company, and getting a good reception from birth-control advocates, like Natika Halil, director of information at the Family Planning Association.
"Our research shows that there are approximately two million women using a contraceptive method that they are unhappy with, so they will benefit from improved choices and options," Halil told the Telegraph. "Any contraceptive system that increases the choice of methods available to women and helps to prevent unwanted pregnancies is welcome."
Amen to that.