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The use of birth control via oral tablets is an effective, yet inconvenient method for contraceptive hormone administration. Patients may forget to take their pill, or might be unable to take it at the correct time. A solution to this would be a long-term birth control treatment. There are many methods of long term contraception available, but many have significant drawbacks that cause patient hesitation in adopting these treatments. To increase access to long term, reliable birth control, Li et al. developed a microneedle skin patch to administer the contraceptive hormone levonorgestrel for greater than one month1. The microneedles themselves detatch from the pad and embed themselves in the skin after a minute of manual pressure applied to the patch. The needles are made out of a biodegradable polymer, and therefore produce no sharp hazerdous waste. In creating this treatment, Li et al. hope that "an effervescent microneedle patch could facilitate greater access to long-acting contraception"1.
(1) Li, W., Tang, J., Terry, R. N., Li, S., Brunie, A., Callahan, R. L., … Prausnitz, M. R. (2019). Long-acting reversible contraception by effervescent microneedle patch. Science Advances, 5(11). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw8145