Women who live in the U.S. know what a struggle it can be to get birth control. Costly doctor’s appointments and renewing prescriptions can get in the way of practicing safe sex, not to mention trying to keep track of which new laws may prevent our access to contraception. But a new method could make it easier to get birth control into our systems quickly, easily, and cheaply.
As NBC News reported, researchers at Georgia Tech are working on a contraceptive patch that women can press into their skin to get a month’s worth of birth control in just five seconds; the patch uses microneedles that implant into the skin and then dissolve. Sounds super convenient, right?
This would mean that women who use this option would be able to administer their own birth control from anywhere, without a doctor or hospital necessary, and the patches are estimated to cost just $1 per dose. This method is expected to be as effective as long-acting contraceptive methods like the IUD, which is great for those who can’t remember to take a pill at the same time every day or use a condom during every sexual encounter.
So far, the patches have been tested successfully on rats but not humans, so the research still has to clear a few hurdles. But if it works, this could be huge.
“Our goal is for women to be able to self-administer long-acting contraceptives with the microneedle patch that would be applied for five seconds just once a month,” Georgia Tech professor Mark Prausnitz, who is working on the contraceptive device, said in a statement.
For those of us looking for a more easily accessible version of birth control and for women who may not have access to contraceptives at all otherwise, this could be life-changing.