By Rachel Ellis
Last updated at 12:36 AM on 15th February 2011
The news last month that hundreds of women became pregnant while on Implanon, a contraceptive implant, will have made many think twice about having the device.
It is easy to see why it was hailed as the future of family planning and, indeed in the wake of the recent report, experts were quick to point out that when properly inserted, they think Implanon is still the best option for many women.
But it’s not the only significant development in this field — here we reveal some of the latest birth control methods that will soon be available; some are already offered on the NHS.
Scientists have discovered that ultrasound could work as a form of contraception for men. A one-off blast of ultrasound energy waves to the testes can halt sperm production for up to six months, according to research by the University of North Carolina.
Dr James Tsuruta, a scientist involved in the research, says: ‘This could provide men with up to six months of reliable, low-cost, non-hormonal contraception from a single round of treatment.’
Research has been done on rats, but human trials may start next year. Concerns have been raised as to whether it will affect a man’s fertility long term. (Damn straight – Leslie)
AVAILABLE: Within a few years.
THE MALE PILL
British researchers are developing a male pill that prevents sperm from being released on ejaculation.
The pill uses compounds found in blood pressure and anti-psychotic medications used in the Sixties, which produced the side-effect of ‘dry ejaculation’.
They paralyse certain muscles in the male reproductive system, causing a temporary block of the release of semen while having no adverse effects on libido, sexual performance or sensation — so the man still has an orgasm, but produces no fluid.
Professor John Guillebaud, emeritus professor of family planning and reproductive health at University College London, says: ‘This method has the potential to be a “pre-coital” pill, possibly working at full efficacy in about two to four hours after it is swallowed.’
Side-effects are not known. (Remember this last part…Leslie)
AVAILABLE: In ten years.