Scientists trialling new contraceptive pill you only take once a month 1 month ago

Scientists trialling new contraceptive pill you only take once a month

The dream, tbh.

If you have a womb, chances are you've been on the pill.

The most common and widely available form of oral contraception, the majority of women in Ireland have at least some experience of that little daily packet.

Whether it's to avoid pregnancy, to regulate periods, or to treat acne, the pill has been enable women to take control of their sexual health and choices for decades now.

And although the pill works perfectly well for many people, there is one aspect of that particular form of contraception that makes it slightly less than ideal: needing to take it at the same time every day.

You forget about it, you mess up your timings, you panic and take three pills in the one day in the misguided hope that that's the same as taking them as their designate times (it's not).

As it turns out though, needing to rely on taking the pill every single day could soon be a thing of the past. And by soon, we mean in about a decade or so, maybe.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been trialling a new kind of contraceptive pill that only needs to be taken once a month.

The medication - which for the moment has only been tested on pigs, so don't get too excited - would give women the freedom to not worry about their contraception every day while still ensuring that they're protected for an extended period of time.

The findings, published in the Science of Translational Medicine journal, showed that the pill released a steady stream of hormones to the body throughout the month, instead of just once a day.

Unlike the regular pill, this new pill also doesn't pass through the body in 24 hours - but rather stays in the stomach for three weeks until all of its hormones are released.

"Poor patient adherence to oral contraceptives is the predominant cause of failure of these therapies, leading to unplanned pregnancies that can negatively affect female health worldwide," reads the study.

"To improve patient adherence, we developed an oral contraceptive that is administered once a month."

As aforementioned, this new monthly pill has only been tested on pigs, so chances are it'll be a good while yet until human trials become a thing.

And even longer until a pill like this becomes readily available on the market.

But hey, listen - progress.