”Side effects may include…”
Wouldn’t it be awesome never to have to read those words on a prescription drug again? After all, if you need a prescription for anything you’re probably in no mood to deal with side effects. This is especially true when it comes to birth control but most women have put up with a fair amount of moodiness, weight gain or worse to avoid the one side effect that would be too much: pregnancy
Breakthroughs that make contraception easier are always a warmly welcomed thing and it looks like a new option is on the way in the form of a new contraceptive gel that releases hormones right into the skin. The gel has the same benefits of the pill, like effectiveness and simplicity but none of the drawbacks, like weight gain and acne. According to Popular Science an additional bonus specifically for new moms is that the gel doesn’t cause hormone levels to rise in milk so it would be safe to use when breast feeding. It was most recently tested on 18 women who took it for 7 months with no pregnancies or serious side effects resulting.
Like the pill it combines progesterone and estrogen, but the progesterone is a new type called Nesterone. The UK Guardian reports that Dr. Ruth Merkatz director of clinical development of reproductive health at the not-for-profit Population Council research center, says the Nesterone seems to be void of the negative effects the pill can produce and that only a very small dose of the combination drug – 3 mg – was needed to be effective. It’s quickly absorbed and leaves no residue (maybe one day they can just put it in our deodorant. “Sure” indeed).
It would be wonderful for men to have more options and responsibility for birth control too, like a pill, patch or implant, which may not be that far away. Hopefully that breakthrough will hit the market sooner rather than later, as will this promising-sounding gel. Sounds easy enough to put into the line-up of all the other things you might put on in the morning – deodorant, moisturizer, make-up, perfume – and be well groomed and baby-free.