MicroCHIPS, a Massachussets tech startup that spun off MIT, is developing a better contraceptive implant. They claim that it will last longer and it can be turned on and off remotely. Contraceptive implants currently last around 5 years and require a trip to the gynaecologist if you wish it removed.
The chip will be packing levonorgestrel, which is the same drug used in various over-the-counter contraceptives including Plan B. Instead of 5 years, there will be 16 years worth of daily birth control in the implant, and that is nearly half our reproductive livespans.
One-button activation, anyone?
Each dosage is packed into separate arrays on the microchip and covered with a thin seal. Every day, an electric charge will melt that seal and the drug is released into the body directly. Perhaps, the biggest of the innovations this chip will bring is its remote control capability. Unfortunately, current birth control implants are too big a commitment for many women over just a 5-year duration. Single button ease and automation will definitely sway many on and over the fence to get contraceptive implants. It will be the best of both worlds, if done properly.
And that will be the biggest issue, in the end. As with anything else, if delivery is simpler, so is its abuse. Despite how r/mensrights, and other parties, might feel about a woman’s body, it can’t be overstated how important it is to ensure the person controlling the remote is the person with the implant. As of yet, we know the implant can only be controlled at skin contact distance.
The idea apparently began with a visit by Bill Gates to MIT and the project has received official backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The chip will start clinical trials next year and MicroCHIPS hopes to bring the chip to consumers as soon as 2018.
This does not of course mean that men can forget about the rubber. The implant prevents pregnancy, not sexually-transmitted diseases. So play safe and avoid uncomfortable doctor's visits.