General, Research, Technology

Developed contraceptives that can be taken only once a month

Today, birth control pills are consideredone of the most popular remedies for unwanted pregnancy. According to statistics, in the United States, oral contraceptives are taken by 12% of women aged 15 to 49 years. However, in order to be as effective as possible, they must be taken every day without any gaps. Unfortunately, with today's lightning-fast pace of life, some people still forget to take pills and in the end, about 9% of women taking birth control get pregnant. However, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology managed to create tablets that need to be drunk only once a month. It is believed that thanks to them, the likelihood of skipping pills will be significantly reduced.

Authors of the study and the pills they created

According to MIT News, active substances,preventing pregnancy, remained the same. In this study, however, scientists enclosed them inside gelatin capsules, which are attached to a biodegradable core and form a star shape. In the initial state, the capsules are folded together, but if they get into the stomach, they open like an umbrella. Due to this, contraceptive capsules remain in the stomach and are gradually released over the course of a month. As a result, women no longer need to take them daily, but must be swallowed at the beginning of each month.

Appearance of the opened capsules. It looks scary

Contraceptives you can drink once a month

Generally, gradual release technologydrugs for a long time is far from new. Previously, researchers had already entered medications for malaria and HIV inside gelatin capsules, which also had to be taken daily without interruption. However, later, the Bill Gates Foundation and his wife funded ongoing work to create a long-lasting contraceptive. The reason for this was the results of a study in which it was said that people better remember the frequency of taking medications that you need to drink weekly or monthly.

Schematic representation of the working cycle of tablets

To achieve a gradual release of fundsover the course of a month, researchers had to use stronger materials that did not decompose in the stomach longer than usual. Pig experiments have proven that new capsules with the addition of two specific types of polyurethane can withstand up to four weeks in the acidic environment of the stomach. It is noteworthy that the concentration of contraceptives in the blood of pigs every day turned out to be the same as if they were given regular daily pills.

Did you know that scientists have found a way to pause pregnancy?

During the dissolution of the active substances, residuescapsules and cores are gradually removed from the body through the digestive tract. According to the author of the study, Robert Langer, the pills they create are one of a kind, the effect of which is enough for a whole month.

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When exactly such drugs will go on sale,not yet known. Be that as it may, scientists have yet to conduct other studies and make sure that they are completely safe for humans. Then they will have to wait for permission from various regulators, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).