Monday, Nov. 18, 2002

Birth Control Patch

Inventor: Ortho=McNeil Pharmaceutical

The perfect birth control device, when someone invents it, will be totally invisible yet impossible to forget: no pills, no shots, no condoms. This year's newest entry, OrthoEvra, is not perfect, but it's close. It's a patch about the size of a matchbook, but as thin as a piece of tape, that delivers the same estrogen and progestin found in a standard birth-control pill. The hormones pass from the patch through the skin and into the bloodstream. It's waterproof and won't fall off; just find a discreet place to stick it on your body, and change it once a week. If only it were invisible.

Availability: Now, $25 to $40 a month
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