Monthly birth control pill could replace daily doses
Oral contraceptives are one of the most popular forms of birth control: In the United States, about 12 percent of women between 15 and 49 use them. However, their effectiveness depends on being taken every day, and it is estimated that about 9 percent of women taking birth control pills become pregnant each year.
MIT researchers are now developing an oral contraceptive that only has to be taken once a month, which could reduce unintended pregnancies that result from forgetting to take a daily dose. This kind of monthly contraceptive could have a significant impact on the health of women and their families, especially in the developing world, the researchers say.
“We are hopeful that this work — the first example ever of a month-long pill or capsule to our knowledge — will someday lead to potentially new modalities and options for women’s health as well as other indications,” says Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT.