New contraceptive options are in the pipeline.
Closest to approval is a daily oral contraceptive pill that contains 90 mcg levonorgestrel and 20 mcg ethinyl estradiol. The product (Lybrel) has no hormone-free period and has shown favorable bleeding patterns in clinical trials, said Dr. Fox, director of family planning at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
New progestins are being derived from 19-norprogesterone, which is not androgenic and may better inhibit ovulation. One such product, Nestorone, is being developed by the Population Council. Nestorone-based combined hormonal vaginal rings and spray-on contraceptives are being developed.
New barrier methods being evaluated include a one-size silicone diaphragm that would not require individual fitting and a more comfortable female condom.
Nonoxynol-9, the only spermicide available in the United States, is considered safe for most users, but it is a detergent that disrupts epithelial surfaces. A recent study suggested that frequent use of nonoxynol-9 by sex workers could increase the risk of HIV transmission in high-risk women.
Buffer-based spermicides under development inhibit sperm by maintaining the acidic environment of the vagina. They also have been shown to inhibit multiple STIs in animal models. One product, Acid-form, forms a protective bioadhesive coating over the cervix and vagina, and can be applied up to 10 hours before intercourse.
A new surfactant product that causes less irritation than nonoxynol-9 is being evaluated in a phase III trial.
BY MELINDA TANZOLA
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||Women's Health|
|Publication:||Internal Medicine News|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2007|
|Previous Article:||Rings, patches broaden contraceptive options.|
|Next Article:||AAD to give its approval to selected sunscreens.|