Following up from our last post about improving the male condom (, a new condom alternative may be available to you soon. The condom has always been the only form of birth control that protects against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). That is, until now. Scientists are working on a new type of birth control that will also protect against some STIs.


The new contraceptive intravaginal ring, made using reservoir-type polyurethane segments, will last for 90 days and also provide protection against HIV and herpes (Thapoung, 2013). The ring is inserted into the vagina and secretes 2 drugs simultaneously, 1) levonogestrel (a contraceptive drug) and tenofovir (the only topical prophylactic that’s been shown to reduce the risk of HIV when in gel form). For the moment, this intravaginal ring is still in the animal testing phases, although the results thus far have been very positive. Early this year the company that developed the ring, CONRAD, expects to begin the human testing. They will be testing two different forms of the ring, one that only contains the tenofovir (the anti-HIV drug) and another that contacts both the tenofovir and the contraceptive drug (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, 2013). If all goes well with the human trials, the new form of birth control could be available to women in the near future.


This is an exciting development in public health, as it allows the user to protect herself from pregnancy and HIV without having to put a lot of effort into it. It makes the process of protecting oneself much, much easier. Spokespersons from CONRAD have explained that the product could be a very powerful development in public health worldwide because the majority of the world’s unwanted pregnancies occur where the HIV/AIDS pandemic is most prevalent and resources are little to none. CONRAD expects a lot of support from the public health organizations all over the world to make this product available to women who will benefit from it the most (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, 2013).




American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. (2013). First dual-protection intravaginal ring design shows promise in long-term HIV, pregnancy prevention. Retrieved March 4, 2014, from


Thapoung, K. (2013). A New Birth Control Method Prevents Pregnancy AND STDs. Retrieved March 3, 2014, from


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Step Aside Condom - Presenting a New Birth Control Method by UrbanSculpt Staff Writer Meghan Stone MSW, MEd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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