More than 15 million women in the US are dependent on birth control pills to avoid unwanted pregnancy. These birth control pills are effective if they are swallowed at the same time 3 hours window each day. If the schedule breaks, it can result in a surprise pregnancy. Nine out 100 women, who use birth control pills, end up having an unwanted pregnancy each year. Well, to sort out this problem, scientists have discovered a contraceptive method that needs to be eaten only once in a month. The device is folded inside the gelatine-coated capsules, which are currently being tested on animals and have shown great results in a key trial. The capsule is a six-arm shaped polymer structure, which stays in the stomach for three weeks. Three weeks later, it starts to discharges synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancy.
Scientists are hopeful to prevent unplanned pregnancies caused by an error in the daily use of birth control pills with the new gelatine capsules. This experimental once in a moth birth control capsules are still far away from drug stores. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $13 million for the development of these gelatine pills to devise better options for family planning. Dr. Beatrice Chen a family planning specialist at the University of Pittsburgh has said women should have more options for family planning and these once in a month pill can be a potential method for women to conveniently opt for. Each arm of the starfish-shaped device has medication doses. As the medicines dissolve out of every arm the device breaks down and exit through the digestive system.
Robert Langer, the inventor of the Massachusetts Institute of technology and Dr. Goivanni Traverso from Boston’s Brigham Women Hospital have worked together for this new invention. They had used this technology for anti-malaria drugs and HIV antiretroviral therapy for the first time in the past. They have tested these once in a month pills on pigs who have the same digestive system as humans. As per the scientists, the experimental capsule has released contraceptive medication consistently up to four weeks and the amount of dose in the animals’ bloodstream was the same as daily tablet dose. However, Dr. Beatrice Chen has said that the new gelatine coated capsules require more safety testing to establish the actual dose of different hormones and capsule break down time span.
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