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New Birth Control Gel

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New Birth Control Gel

Next-gen birth control is a gel that can be applied to the skin…

nestorone 300x300 New Birth Control Gel

Nestorone Birth Control Gel

A new birth control gel that can be applied to the skin could offer women an alternative to the traditional oral birth control known as the Pill.

The gel contains hormones oestrogen and a type of progesterone – which are absorbed through the skin to prevent pregnancy the same way as oral birth control pills.

Early studies have shown that the gel is effective in suppressing the production of eggs in the ovaries, and does so without producing many of the side effects typically associated with the Pill symptoms such as weight gain and acne.

The gel known as Nestorone is being developed by drug firm Antares Pharma.

The gel can be applied to several areas of the body including the abdomen, thighs, arms or shoulders, and leaves no residue.

Experts also say the gel is safe for women breastfeeding, unlike the Pill which can interfere with the milk supply.

The recent study, led by Dr Ruth Merkatz from the not-for-profit Population Council research centre in New York, involved 18 women between the ages of 20 – 30.

Over the course of 7 months none of the women using the gel became pregnant. Researchers say the optimal does of the gel is 3mg per day.

Dr Merkatz told the BBC:

From this small study we found it was effective. Its in early stage development but if we move on, we will obviously test it in many, many more women. [BBC]

The new gel could offer an alternative to the Pill, which is used by approximately 3 million women in the UK alone. And according to Nitika Halil from the UK’s Family Planning Association, 2 million of these women are unhappy with it. Halil told the BBC:

Any contraceptive system that increases the choice of methods available to women and helps to prevent unwanted pregnancies is welcome…

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…

This product wont suit everyone and will only be for women comfortable (with) putting it on their skin and having their contraceptive cover that way. [BBC]

Researchers told the American Society for Reproductive Medicine that they hope to commercialize the product if clinical trials prove successful.


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