THE FUTURE OF FAMILY PLANNING
contraceptive implant This form of contraception (a small tube that is placed under the skin in your arm) is widely available in other countries but not in Canada—yet. The implant prevents ovulation by releasing a low dose of progestin into the bloodstream, making it a good choice for women who can’t take estrogen. estrogen In Europe, research is being done on different kinds of estrogen preparations. “The estrogen that we have in all our birth-control pills is synthetic, and some of the pills being developed contain natural estrogen,” explains Dr. Sheila Dunn, research and program director at Toronto’s Bay Centre for Birth Control, who cautions that it’s not yet clear what advantages—if any—these new hormones have over the synthetic ones. Ella Another product Dunn sees on the horizon is the introduction of a second kind of emergency contraceptive pill known as Ella. It’s a different formulation from Plan B and has a wider window of effectiveness. “There’s a good possibility that we’ll soon see this in Canada since the drug in the product is already on the market but in a different dosage; it’s used to treat fibroids,” says Dunn.