No offense to the guys out there, but we women have always been on the losing side when it comes to being able to protect ourselves from both pregnancy AND HIV. The only birth control method we've been able to use up until now to prevent both is condoms. And, as wonderful as they are, it isn't always easy as a woman to feel confident that we can trust our partners when it comes to using condoms correctly. A new device has just been revealed that may put women in the driver's seat when it comes to taking full control and responsibility of our sexual health.
The intravaginal ring is a 5.5-cm ring that is inserted into the vagina and contains both levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestin hormone, and tenofovir, an anti-retroviral drug. 'Til now, researchers have not been able to find a way to combine the two drugs. This innovation could spell big, positive changes for women everywhere.
The device is about to undergo its first test in women, so there's no word yet on when it will become available. Here's what we know: women would be able to insert the ring into their vaginas and it would stay in place for three months. The ring would deliver smaller doses of the HIV antiretroviral drug tenofovir than the pills available for women to take, but delivers up to 100 times more of it than current intravaginal rings that are on the market.
It's inspiring and empowering to think how many women's lives will be saved as a result of this ring if it passes testing -- particularly women living in third-world countries. It also gives these women -- all women -- the added assurance that they, and they alone, have the ability to control when they will get pregnant and start a family.
I only see positive things resulting from the intravaginal ring. As a married woman with children, I don't know that I would use it myself, but I'm happy to know technology like this exists and that my daughter will have better ways to protect herself when she becomes a woman.
What are your thoughts on the intravaginal ring? Would you use it as a form of birth control?
Image via trec_lit/Flickr