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New contraceptive methods for women

Williams
Jennifer Fogle Williams, a doctor and new wife, has switched from the pill to the patch.

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(CNN) -- Jennifer Fogle Williams, 28, is a busy doctor and a new wife. Although she is not quite ready to add "mom" to her many titles, she and husband foresee wanting children a few years from now.

Approximately 71 percent of U.S. women aged 25-34 use contraceptives, according to the CDC and National Center for Health Statistics.

Jennifer recently joined an increasing percentage of women who have switched from the pill to the patch.

"Occasionally, I would forget to take a pill," said Fogle Williams. "When they came out with a new product that's the same hormones -- but I only had to use once a week -- it was much easier for me to remember."

More and more women are making that switch, according to Dr. Miriam Zieman of Atlanta's Emory University.

"The patch is a device that can be worn on several areas of the woman's body," said Zieman. "It contains two hormones and works just the way the pill does -- but it's changed weekly."

Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, which markets the patch Ortho Evra, claims its product is 99 percent effective -- if used properly -- and rarely comes loose. It can be placed on the abdomen, upper arm or the buttocks.

So far, so good, said Jennifer. "You just put it on there like a Band-Aid, hold it on there for 10 seconds and it sticks like glue," she explained. "I've been in the ocean, been in the shower, I've worked out, Jacuzzis; I've never had it detach."

Zieman
Dr. Miriam Zieman: "The patch is a device that can be worn on several areas of the woman's body."

And if once a week is too often, there's also the NuvaRing, a vaginal ring that secretes hormones over a 21-day period of use, or Lunelle, a monthly contraceptive injection.

"The ring (is) also very pliable, easy to insert into the vagina, also works like the pill and the good thing here is you change it once a month," said Dr. Zieman. "The injection is given intramuscularly once a month, also works like the pill, and maybe women will be able to give it to themselves in the future."

As with the pill, side effects are rare but can be serious -- including blood clots, heart attack and stroke.

While the new contraceptive methods offer women more options and convenience, several women added that an even more convenient option would be a pill for men.

"The male pill has been in development for a while," said Dr. Zieman. Yet, she added, "I don't see it on the horizon very soon."

The bigger question remains: Would men be more successful in remembering to take the pill?



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