According to the CDC’s most recent statistics, of the nearly 47 million women ages 15 to 49 taking contraception in the United States between 2015 and 2017, 5.9 million used contraception in the form of an oral pill. But, we’ve all either been there once in our lives or know someone who has: You have to set a daily alarm, you might miss one here or there, or, it’s just one more annoying pill to have to swallow. But, scientists and pharmaceutical companies understand this frustration, which is why they’re constantly looking to innovate and make women’s lives easier.
Case in point: Today, women’s healthcare company Agile Therapeutics announced that it has launched the first-ever once-weekly contraceptive patch that combines levonorgestrel (a progestin, aka the morning after pill) with ethinyl estradiol (EE), the lowest-dose estrogen available in a transdermal format.
Named Twirla, the new transdermal patch is designed to be worn on the abdomen, buttock or upper torso (though not on the breasts) for one-week periods of time, for three weeks each month. Using Skinfusion technology, the patch is made up of five layers but somehow manages to be less than 1 millimeter thin, and able to adhere through showers, exercise, etc to effectively deliver 120 micrograms of levonorgestrel and 30 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol per day.
“Nearly all women use contraception at some point in their lives, but when it comes to preventing unplanned pregnancies, 90 percent of failures are attributed to inconsistent and/or improper use,” said Dr. Donnica Moore, president of Sapphire Women’s Health Group and consultant to Agile Therapeutics. “Today, women need a birth control product that is not only safe and reliable, but also that fits seamlessly into an active lifestyle. The soft and flexible design of Twirla contours to a woman’s body, requires no invasive procedures and reduces the burden of daily administration. I am excited that healthcare providers can now offer a new solution that can fill a gap in hormonal contraceptive care.”
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