For women who seek birth control, avoiding an unwanted pregnancy or regulating an erratic period may someday come down to applying a little lotion.
Researchers have developed a topical contraceptive gel that works by rubbing it onto the arms, legs, shoulders and abdomen once a day. The gel's primary ingredients, estrogen and Nestorone, a synthetic form of progesterone, prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs once a month. Basically, it's like the patch, except that it's invisible and won't peel off. How The Birth Control Pill Affects Your Libido
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Not surprisingly, news of the ointment has generated a lot of buzz around the web. If the gel becomes a mainstream product, it could reduce birth control to part of a woman's daily moisturizing routine. Unlike the pill, the gel does not cause side effects like weight gain, nausea and a diminished sex drive. Plus, it's safe for use by breastfeeding mothers and does not affect their milk supply. Researchers found that just 3 mg of the gel worked effectively, so you wouldn't need to worry about purchasing a large supply. Birth Control: Should He Pay for Half?
To test the gel, researchers at the Population Council research center in New York recruited 18 women between their 20s and 30s to use the gel for seven months. During that period of time, none of the women got pregnant and none complained of discomfort.
Dr. Ruth Merkatz, who led the study, acknowledged that while the study was small, its preliminary success will help them move forward and test the product on more women. She is currently presenting the group's findings to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, while the drug is being manufactured by the Antares Pharma drug firm.
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Of course, skeptics have voiced their concerns. How much will the gel cost? Will it work on all types of skin? How easily will it rub off on your clothing? What are the possible side effects (the patch has been known to irritate skin, for example)? Although it will be awhile the gel hits the market, we're excited at the prospect of having another type of birth control to choose from. Research conducted by the Family Planning Association has found that two million women are unhappy with their method of contraception. At the very least, those two milion women will be grateful for the additional option. Is the Pill Harmful?
What do you think: would you try this new contraceptive gel?