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1) Barrier Methods
The Male Condom
Male Birth Control Pill
The Female Condom
2) Hormonal Methods
Birth Control Pills
Chewable Birth Control Pill
3) IUDs (Intrauterine Devices)
4) Emergency Contraception
New Emergency Contraceptive Ella®
There is a new birth control contraceptive called Nestorone® being developed by Antares Pharma, it currently is in early clinical testing but so far things are looking up for it. What makes this new drug unique is that it is a gel that is applied by rubbing it onto the skin daily. It prevents pregnancy in the similar method by applying the hormones estrogen and progesterone that slowly are absorbed into the bloodstream but unlike other forms of birth control such as the pill or ring there does not seem to be the negative side effects such as cramps, acne, weight gain or other issues. Clinical testing has shown a high rate of success and tolerated very well by most women.
During testing 18 women between the ages of 20 to 40 where taking 3mg Nestorone for a 7 month period. In all cases the gel prevented pregnancy and there where no unpleasant side effects. So far research and testing has indicated that Nestorone is safe for breastfeeding women. But these are still early stage tests. Typically medications need 3 stages of testing with increasingly larger number or subjects and for longer periods of time in order to more accurately assess the medications effectiveness. As a result of the long testing phases it would probably be several years before this product would be available for the public.
It is the hopes of the creator of Nestorone that this gel will obviously be approved for use as well as be an attractive alternative to existing methods of birth control. Not only does Nestorone have a quick and easy way to take it but so far the lack of side effects looks very good. Some women are not happy with their current form of birth control and there is no doubt that Nestorone may appeal to them along with many others. But I do caution that a study of 18 women is a very small group to gain any real insight into the true potential of such a birth control, but all studies have to start somewhere and so far so good. It will be interesting to see how this particular drug plays out in the long run.
Visit the Reproductive Health Online website, sponsored by Johns Hopkins University for more information about reproductive health and birth control methods.
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