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Future contraceptives

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Of course there are many contraceptives in the making in the next few years for women and ... wait for it... one for men. Big surprise there! Here are some up and coming concepts to keep you in the know.

• Dual-use vaginal ring - Ideal for women who forget to take the pill, but not for another 5 to 10 years. The current ring only protects against pregnancy, this one prevents unwanted pregnancies, HIV and other STIs. It is a flexible ring inserted into the vagina for up to three months.

• Microbicides - In five years, this will mostly serve as a back-up method. Like spermicides that exist in most condoms nowadays, this will also prevent pregnancy and kill HIV and STI pathogens.

• Pericoital pill - Another option to forgetting the pill, it is a contraceptive pill used before or after getting busy. It's an on-demand pill much like the Morning After pill but hopefully not as harsh. Funding has been flippant so only time will tell when it will be on the market.

• Biodegradable implant - Less trips to the gyno as removal of this is not necessary unless you want to conceive. In 10 years, this implant that releases low progestin doses (one of the two hormones in birth control pills) and disintegrates in the body when it's no longer effective.

• Clean-sheets pill - All of the fun with none of the mess, this pre-sex pill for men that produces a semen-free orgasm. Said to cut the risk of STIs and unwanted pregnancy. Researchers are still trying to fund an animal study so don't plan on this coming to fruition anytime soon. A hard sell for research funders, I don' think this would be that hard of a sell for men.

• Lybrido - The female Viagra, an experimental medication that boosts blood flow to the genitals and dopamine levels in the brain is years from the market. Another big surprise there!

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