For women using birth control, that daily pill may soon be replaced by a simple addition to the regular moisturization routine. A new topical contraceptive gel that works in the same way as the pill has shown similar effectiveness when applied to the shoulders, arms, legs or abdomen daily — and works without the side effects of sickness, weight gain, or a muted sense of sexual desire.
The topical gel is similar to the contraceptive patch that also releases hormones through the skin, but the patch, aside from being visible, can fall off. The lotion releases the hormones progesterone and estrogen – just as the traditional pill does – preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg each month. In a test of 18 women who used it for 7 months, none became pregnant – we assume that, in the name of science of course, they were sexually active at the time – or suffered any serious side effects.
Moreover, unlike the traditional pill the new gel is safe for women who are breastfeeding – the pill can cause hormone levels that interfere with milk supply. That’s a welcome improvement for glowing new mothers out there who aren’t quite ready for a second bundle of joy just yet.