This implantable device could allow women to bypass clinics for almost half of their reproductive lives.
With the senate recently blocking the bill to overturn the Hobby Lobby ruling, contraceptive is an extremely hot topic. Regardless of religious beliefs, or the type of coverage offered by places of employment, birth control is an important part of modern society. Birth control allows women the opportunity to prevent pregnancy or plan the timing of a pregnancy, in addition to adding stability to a woman’s menstrual cycle and helping with acne. These reasons are obviously beneficial to the woman who opts for contraception, but no hormonal option currently lasts longer than five years. Though many advances and a multitude of birth control options have sprouted up, it did not seem like a longer term method would be likely, until now.
A startup company based out of the US has created a remote control, implantable contraceptive that is capable of lasting up to 16 years. Developed by MicroCHIPS, this wireless system can be turned on or off with the touch of a button. The device is implanted under the skin on your buttocks, upper arm, or abdomen during an outpatient procedure and dispenses 30 micrograms of birth control hormones a day. Doctors would be able to adjust dosages remotely, and women could turn the device off whenever they decide to try to conceive. It measures 20 x 20 x 7 millimeters and has a 1.5 centimeters wide microchip reserve that holds 16 years worth of the hormones.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 62% of all women of reproductive age are currently using a method of contraception, and 64% of those women use non-permanent options. Whether you use the patch, the pill, the ring, the sponge, the shot, or an implant, the idea of a method capable of lasting for 16 years is intriguing. With pre-clinical testing set to begin in 2015, the device could be on the market as early as 2018- providing the first long-term, but non-permanent, contraception method.
[h/t] The Health Site