WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- For women, putting on contraceptive earrings may be more appealing and convenient for them in the future, according to researchers who devised an advanced technique of implanting contraceptive drugs in jewelry.
- The hormone patches which come in three layers can enter the bloodstream through the skin and circulate within the body.
- Although the technique was only tested on animals, researchers believe that the right dosage of hormones can still be delivered to the woman’s body through the contraceptive jewelry.
Birth control for women might be as easy as putting on a pair of earrings in the coming years.
According to a recently published report from a team of researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, contraceptive hormones can now be managed by implanting it in tiny patches in various types of jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, rings and watches. Once these drugs come in contact with the skin, it can readily be absorbed into the body.
Despite not having tested the advanced technique in humans yet, initial findings indicated that the right amount of hormones from the contraceptive jewelry can possibly be delivered to women as a contraceptive. In addition, the pairing of contraceptive patches with various types of jewelry could provide the delivery of drugs in a subtler way.
In a press release, Mark Prausnitz from Georgia Institute of Technology said that as more and more contraceptive measures are available, the more chances that women’s needs are met.
“So, since putting on jewelry may already be part of a woman’s daily routine, this technique can facilitate compliance with the drug regimen as well as effectively empower some women to prevent unintended pregnancies,” he added.
The tested earring patch consisted of three layers: impermeable layer, middle and outer layer. Included in the impermeable layer is an adhesive to hold the patch onto the back of an earring, a wristwatch’s underside, or the inner parts of a necklace or ring. The middle layer contains the patch that has the solid contraceptive drug, while the other layer is a skin adhesive which helps stick the hormone drug to the skin so it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and circulate in a woman’s body.
The concept was tested on animal models; initially on pigs’ ears followed by hairless rats’ skin. To simulate the removal of earrings during sleep, patches were placed on the animals for 16 hours then were removed for eight hours. The team found that when the earrings were off, levels decreased. But despite this, the patch can still provide the necessary amounts of hormone into the bloodstream.
Even though further testing is required for the contraceptive jewelry, Prausnitz said that pharmaceutical jewelry introduces a future contraceptive option as well as a more appealing delivery method which makes it easier for women to remember to use it.