On Friday, August 10, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first-ever contraceptive vaginal ring that can be used for up to a full year. The new contraceptive AnnoveraTM is developed by the Population Council. The AnnoveraTM vaginal ring contains the new progesterone segesterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol and is the first and only contraceptive that provides an entire year of protection against unintended pregnancy while fully under a woman’s control. The ring is indicated to prevent pregnancy for up to a year and does not require refrigeration, which is particularly important for distribution and use in low-resource settings. In contrast to other long-term contraceptives like implants (Norplant® and Jadelle®) or injections like Depot-Provera women can decide without medical involvement when and how long they will use the contraception device.
AnnoveraTM is the sixth contraceptive technology that Population Council researchers have developed to address family planning needs around the world and brought to market through commercialization agreements. More than 170 million women worldwide are currently using highly effective contraceptives developed by the Population Council: the copper IUD ParaGard®; intrauterine system Mirena®; contraceptive implants Norplant® and Jadelle®; and lately Progering®, the contraceptive vaginal ring for breastfeeding women. It is exciting that women all over the world will be empowered with another contraceptive choice!
The new option will be available in 2019, let us hope the ring will be introduced in Africa soon as well. We will start to include the new choices like Progering®for breastfeeding women and AnnoveraTM in the family planning modules in our Female & Family[e]Education program as well as in the Health[e]Living program.
Photo credit: Population Council / Hallie Easley