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Prevention by wearing jewelry?
Contraceptives like the pill are only effective if we remember to take them. Researchers have now developed a new type of contraceptive patch that can be applied to jewelry. Including contraceptive patches in jewelry could make contraception easier, especially for women who wear jewelry regularly, the research team hopes.
In a current study by the Georgia Institute of Technology, the researchers produced so-called contraceptive plasters, which can be attached to jewelry and can thus be worn inconspicuously. The results of the study were published in the journal Journal of Controlled Release.
Advantages through additional contraception options
Contraceptive patches have been on the market for several decades, but to work properly, a fairly strict routine usually has to be followed for successful use. Contraceptive plasters that can be worn with jewelry could make contraception much easier and more convenient in the near future. The more contraceptive options are available, the more individually the needs of users can be met, the authors of the study explain. Since wearing jewelry is already part of the everyday life of most women, this technique can make it considerably easier to keep to medication. This could make it easier for women to avoid unwanted pregnancies. The patches can be used with various types of jewelry, such as watches, rings and necklaces.
How do the plasters for jewelry work?
The contraceptive Levonorgestrel is inserted into a small patch, which has an adhesive on one side to adhere to jewelry and a skin adhesive on the other side. This patch is then attached to the part of a piece of jewelry that comes into contact with the skin. There it can slowly release the hormones into the blood stream over the hours. The patches themselves are designed to be universal and work with virtually any piece of jewelry. However, the team points out that the method is best suited for jewelry such as earrings and watches that are pressed against the skin all day.
Contraceptive plasters worked well in animal experiments
In order to test the contraceptive jewelry, the researchers glued patches of the plaster material onto the back of the earrings and put them in the ears of pigs. After it was determined that the drug had been successfully delivered to the skin of the pigs, the team experimented with hairless rats. The animals wore the patches for 16 hours, then the patches were removed for eight hours, which was intended to simulate women taking off their jewelry overnight. The researchers found that the levonorgestrel remained significantly above the contraceptive level during this period. Even during the eight-hour sections where the patches were removed, these values dropped significantly, but remained high enough to continue working.
More research is needed
The next step for the team is to test the system on humans. Whether women actually want to use the patches or not is another question, but additional contraceptive options are always a good thing. Not only must the effectiveness and economy of contraceptive jewelry be taken into account, but also social and personal factors of women around the world play an important role. It must be ensured that this concept of contraception is actually accepted and used by women. (as)