Contraceptives can be a bone of contention for many women. Not only are there different varieties to choose from, but they can all come with a host of various side effects. Plus, there's remembering to take pills daily, if you go down that route. It's not an easy game. However, the game could be changing altogether. A new study from the Georgia Institute of Technology proposes administering hormones through backings on jewelry.
The jewelry is fixed with hormone-filled patches which activate when they come into contact with the skin. Once the hormones are absorbed into the body, the wearer is protected as they would be with other birth control methods. While it hasn't been tested on humans yet, initial research and testing is looking really promising. The team hopes that the technique could help people who have trouble taking their contraceptives frequently.
By doing so, the number of unwanted pregnancies could decline, and we'd have more options to choose from when it comes to balancing the need for birth control and minimizing the negative side effects.
Mark Prausnitz of Georgia Institute's School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering hopes that the simple act of putting on a piece of jewelry will fit smoothly into a woman's routine.
“The more contraceptive options that are available, the more likely it is that the needs of individual women can be met,” Mark Prausnitz, a Regents Professor and the J. Erskine Love Jr. Chair at the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech, said.
“Because putting on jewelry may already be part of a woman’s daily routine, this technique may facilitate compliance with the drug regimen," he continued. "This technique could more effectively empower some women to prevent unintended pregnancies.”
It certainly seems like an appealing idea, especially if you're an individual that never leaves the house without their watch.
The idea focuses on utilizing transdermal patch technology that it is already widely used. Nicotine patches, menopause patches, and travel sickness patches are all used by millions of people across the world with great success. Not only could it help those who need birth control by taking the pressure away from remembering to take contraception, but it's also an easy method that's discreet.
What's more, initial testing indicated that the jewelry could be removed for 8 hours a day and the wearer would still have a sufficient amount of the hormone in their bloodstream to protect them.
Scientists first came up with the idea for use in developing countries, where access to contraceptives is both limited and taboo. Although, it looks like there may be a wide market for them in western countries, too. When it comes to earrings, the wearer could also switch up the pairs as the patch would be attached to the backing, making it interchangeable.