Delivery options for contraceptives

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



Although a steady increase in contraceptive use has been observed in developed and less-developed countries, the contraceptive needs of a significant proportion of couples have not yet been met, resulting in an increase in unplanned pregnancies. Several new contraceptive products have reached the market during the past few years. Among these are new implants, a medicated intrauterine device, contraceptive vaginal rings, transdermal patches and several new regimen of combined oral contraceptives. These new or improved methods have been developed to expand the contraceptive choices available to women and men as well as to respond to the unmet need for contraceptives with long-term activity. New targets are being identified both in the ovary and the testes for a more specific non-hormonal contraception. This futuristic approach still keeps in mind the need for better access to existing contraceptive methods, as well as the discovery of new contraceptives that are simple to use, safe, reversible and inexpensive. In recent years, there has been great interest in agents that provide dual protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI), especially human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A contraceptive method providing dual medical benefits might increase motivation for consistent use, thus reducing contraceptive failures and unwanted pregnancies.