Generation gel?

October 29, 2010, 6:40 PM GMT+0

A contraceptive gel that could offer an alternative to the Pill sounds like a good idea, but more testing needs to be done first, is the general feeling among around 750 British respondents of our question on the issue. The hormone gel would be rubbed onto the skin every day like a moisturiser, leading to a contraceptive effect without, the manufacturers claim, the side-effects many women experience with the contraceptive pill.

Many respondents like the sound of the new product.

  • ‘It sounds like a good idea, simple and easy to use,’ commented one respondent.
  • ‘If it’s assured that there would be no weight gain [one of the side-effects of the Pill], it’s a great idea,’ said another.
  • Some felt that it could benefit women for whom taking a daily pill might not be practical or possible, with one saying that ‘it would be great if it could be used to help women in poorer countries’.
  • Some are worried about the gel’s effectiveness and reliability, however.
  • Many respondents suggested that the gel could be ‘easy to forget [to put on]’, while others expressed concerns that ‘it would be easy to get the dose wrong’.
  • Some worried it could ‘wash off’ or ‘lose potency if you shower or go swimming’.
  • Others were concerned about the ‘long term effects’ on the skin.
  • ‘I would not want to try it until it has a proven track record,’ commented one respondent, while another said ‘It needs much more safety testing.’
  • Some respondents balked at the idea of yet another form of contraception for women, with one commenting, ‘I wish they would hurry up and find something for men to take’.

Research into the Nestorone gel, developed by drug firm Antares Pharma, so far shows it to be effective and well tolerated, without the side effects of weight gain and nausea commonly associated with the contraceptive pill. In the UK, an estimated 3.5 million women (or about one in every three women of reproductive age) currently take the Pill.

What people are saying about the contraceptive gel

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