Hi-Tech Birth Control: Would You Use A Remote-Controlled Contraceptive Implant?

July 9, 2014  |  

Over the past months, we’ve reported on contraceptives and the various changes sought by inventors or employers to make them more pleasurable, accessible or, on the other end of the spectrum, inaccessible for citizens. Today, we are highlighting a new contraceptive that will give women the ultimate control.

A tech startup recently received financial backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create a new implantable contraceptive that can be inserted into a woman’s upper arm and is the size of a matchstick. This type birth control usually last about three years and releases the hormone progestin.

TIME reports, MicroCHIPS Inc. a Massachusetts biotech company’s implantable contraceptive can be activated and deactivated by its user. MicroCHIPS is developing a wireless device that is 20 millimeters long and will last for 16 years. The device can be inserted under the skin of buttocks, upper arms or abdomen. The chip will “slowly release levonorgestrel, a hormone used in some types of the Pill, in some types of hormonal IUDs and in Plan B.”

If the contraceptive works correctly, women will not have to schedule a doctor’s appointment to disable their birth control. This game changer will remove barriers for women who do not have regular access to doctors. Since the chip last for 16 years, this will also decrease the number of doctors’ visits. On the health care market currently, hormonal birth control only lasts for five years.

The president of MicroCHIPS, Robert Farra, stated: ““The idea of using a thin membrane like an electric fuse was the most challenging and the most creative problem we had to solve.” In order for a woman to conceive, she would have to turn off her birth control with a remote control. When turned on, MIT Tech Reviews reports the implant will dispense 30 micrograms of levonorgestrel a day. For the tiny device to last, the hormone will be held in the microchips’ 1.5 centimeters wide reservoirs.

TIME tells us at the moment, the chip is being tested for safety, efficacy and security. MicroCHIPS plans for their birth control to be approved by FDA and on the market in 2018.

Are you interested in this type of birth control?

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