Non-Hormonal Patch to Revolutionize Women's Contraception

Oct 18, 2007
A new method of contraception that won a Nobel prize for medicine last year soon will make a breakthrough in birth control.

By using the completely new technique that is called RNA interference (RNAi) scientists can affect the gene that is active in eggs before they can be fertilized by sperm. When the ZP3 gene is switched off by RNAi method, the egg develops without outer membrane where sperm connects to the egg for conception.

This method is considered to be reversible as only eggs on final stages of formation are modified while other eggs can remain in store for future fertilization when woman discontinues using this method.

Besides RNAi would have no side-effects often associated with birth control pills like loss of libido, headaches, weight gain and risks of heart attacks, blood clots and other.

Zev Williams, a leading scientist from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, demonstrated the results of trials on mice at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Washington. Those mice who had their eggs switched off by RNAi were infertile.

More research is needed to develop the drug that most probably would be in a form of a patch or suppository, that will be replaced once a month. Though human trials would be possible in a decade, this can revolutionize the birth control giving safer options for women.

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Oct 05, 2008 05:39 AM » posted by: "Sam"
I think it sounds like a wonderful idea, especially for those of us who cannot use hormomal alternatives for health reasons, are too old to get pregnant safely, or those of us who lose too much sensitivity with condom use.

Mar 11, 2008 06:41 AM » posted by: Ruth
I don't know about anyone else but to me that just sounds down right creepy! Why is medical science always playing god with the female hormone and genetics systems? I think that something can be created that isn't going to alter genetic material (RNAi??? indeed) or cause side effects such as death! Why not start working on a birth control pill or patch or method other than condoms for men?! I think that if men had to deal with the birth control issue we would see a sudden and swift change in the way birth control was created.

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