Contraception. Birth control. It's something we all have to consider at some point in our lives but are we really aware of all of our options? Probably not, considering many of us were passed a prescription for the pill on our first visit to the doctor and haven't questioned it since.
And why would we? The introduction of the contraceptive pill in 1961 marked the liberation of women, the release from the fear of pregnancy and the ability to embrace our sexual agency.
But the fact is, medical technology has moved on in droves and there are so many alternatives out there that might be better suited to you. Including ones that have yet to hit the market, like the microneedle skin patch.
Originally developed for the painless administration of vaccines, the new long-acting contraceptive is being developed with microneedle skin patch technology.
Now for the science: when the patch is applied for a few seconds, the microscopic needles break off and stay under the surface of the skin, where biodegradable polymers release the contraceptive drug called levonorgestrel.
There's no risk of the patch falling off either, like with current contraceptive patches. You simply self-administer your patch once a month, and after five seconds, you're good to go.
The microneedle skin patch isn't the only alternative contraceptive product that could revolutionise our sex lives; the reusable condom is currently in development, too.
The waste from single-use condoms is one thing, but for developing countries, the need for a safe sex method that's affordable, accessible and reusable is the main reason for its creation.
Pearl Health is hoping to develop a material that can withstand re-use and intermittent sterilisation via boiled water. All without dulling sensation, because, let's be honest, nobody will use it if it doesn't feel good.