What's Next In Birth Control?
Coming to a medicine cabinet near you?
Photo Credit: Hugo Chang/iStock Images
FDA-approved in December, Femcon Fe is the first chewable oral contraceptive available in the U.S. The estrogen-progestin tablets come in packs of 28including seven placebosand have the same 99-plus percent efficacy rate with perfect use as other pills. Many experts, however, dismiss Femcons minty tablets as gimmicky. After all, whens the last time you met someone who had trouble swallow-ing a conventional birth-control pill?
No more periods
First, women started skipping their placebo pills in order to escape the monthly bleed. Then, in 2003, came Seasonale, the first birth-control pill designed to reduce periods to four times per year. And if a new pill called Lybrel is approved, you could be looking at one tampon run every 12 months. The period you have on the Pill is a withdrawal bleed, not an actual period, so proponents of these pills say theyre not that different than the regular Pill.
Researchers at Conrad and the Population Council are hard at work on male contraceptive injections and pills, patches, and gels that release combinations of testosterone and progestin to shut down sperm production. Early versions could be available in this country within five to 10 years.