A story just crawled across my Facebook feed about a new hormonal BC implant.

About the size of a patch (or, maybe a stack of them, it's 20 mm x 20 mm x 7 mm), this new gadget is supposed to be able to deliver your daily dose of hormones for up to 16 years continuously. Decide you want kids before that time is up? No problem, they say. Just touch the special remote to the skin over your patch and reprogram your birth control with a button press.

Here's the technical explanation of how it works:

"The levonorgestrel is contained on the chip using a hermetic titanium and platinum seal developed by MicroCHIPS. The hormone is released by passing an electric current from an internal battery through the seal, which melts it temporarily, allowing a small dose of levonorgestrel to be released each day."

Neat! It goes without saying there are some cool possibilities here. Taking birth control at the same time every day is a struggle for some women. Imagine almost never having to worry about being able to get your refill. But these kinds of things open as many frightening possibilities as they do awesome ones. That's why you have to touch that remote control to your skin; it's a security measure. But that doesn't necessarily prevent someone from messing with it on you while you're sleeping or something. And there's nothing hackers love more than finding a way around the obvious or doing something you asked them not to. So, I'll be waiting to hear the good and the bad of clinical trials. It's going to be interesting.

Advertisement