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HEALTHIER YOU: The future of birth control is now

July 8, 2022 by  
Filed under Health

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

Scientists continue to make breakthroughs in pregnancy prevention, and the FDA in recent years has approved new methods. Here are some of the most popular contraceptives on the horizon.

Long-acting vaginal ring

This is the first vaginal birth control ring that you can use for a whole year. The segesterone acetate and ethinyl vaginal system (Annovera) works like the other vaginal ring on the market that contains the hormones etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol (NuvaRing). You wear Annovera for 3 weeks, then take it out for your period. After a week, you’d usually insert a new one. But unlike with NuvaRing, you can reuse Annovera for up to a year. You also don’t need to refrigerate it, which makes for easier storage.

Progestin-only birth control pill

Regular birth control pills combine the hormones progestin and estrogen, which block your ovaries from releasing an egg (called ovulation). Drospirenone (Slynd) is a new progestin-only pill for those worried about estrogen-related health problems like blood clots in your legs.

Hormone patch

There is a second birth control patch on the market. This transdermal patch contains the hormones levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol (Twirla). It works like the other available patch, norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol take it off for the fourth week during your period. But Twirla has lower levels of hormones.

Sperm-killing gel

This hormone-free spermicide gel contains lactic acid, citric acid, and potassium bitartrate (Phexxi). You insert the gel into your vagina up to an hour before you have sex. It’s different from other spermicides because it works with your vagina’s natural pre-sex pH level.

Hormone birth control for men

Recent scientific trials of male birth control stopped early because too many experienced side effects like depression and low sex drive. Now, researchers are looking into new compounds that hold back male hormones with fewer effects. They’re also exploring different forms, like oral birth control and a hormone gel that you apply to your arm.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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