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The Peach Diaries
Illustration Sophie Rawlingson

There’s a new, year-long contraceptive for women you don’t know about

Finally more options

A new alternative to the pill exists, and instead of taking it every day the protection lasts a year. The FDA has cleared the use of Annovera, a silicone ring that you insert into the vagina that is lined with hormones to prevent you from ovulating.

Many women already use similar methods like the coil, a T-shaped device made from plastic or copper which can be used for up to a decade, but you usually need to go to a doctor to insert them. Also, lots of women report that getting them fitted can be extremely painful and that pain can continue for months afterwards.

Unlike the coil, the implant or hormonal injections, Annovera can be inserted or removed at home at any time without even having to visit a clinic. It works in a similar way to the already available NuvaRing which users have to keep in the fridge before use and only lasts a month. This one can be stored at room temperature.

Having already established that the pill can fuck up your mental health, people are searching for better alternatives for contraception. An app named Natural Cycles, which allows users to track their temperature, claimed to significantly reduce chances of pregnancy but came under fire earlier this year after a spate of pregnancies were linked to its usage. Södersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm logged 37 unwanted pregnancies, and reported it to the Swedish Medicines Agency.

Controversies have flared up over the last couple of years surrounding the testing of a male pill. A widespread rollout seemed dead in the water when trials were halted because of side effects including depression and mood swings, acne, libido changes – basically those experienced by women on the pill which has been prescribed by doctors since the 60s. One man died by suicide during the study, although researches claim this was unrelated to the drug, however another man attempted suicide.

The Outline reported that there are a host of other methods on the horizon including an under-the-skin implant for males, a pill that impairs sperm’s ability to swim, and a product named Depo-Provera that you would be able to inject yourself with at home. 

Read about The Peach Diaries, the zine unpacking the ups and downs of trying to take control of your own body.