The Once-a-Month Pill

Contraception innovation funded by the Gates Foundation


Life Issues

Slow-release pills are nothing new, but within a few years a once-a-month birth control pill will hit the market. An article at Wired magazine (Dec. 4) explains how it works.

Birth control developers, pushers, and users have long recognized that user error is the Achilles heel of the reigning daily-pill scheme. A team of scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and MIT have worked for five years to build slow-release pills for treating any number of maladies. Use of the same technology for birth control followed, with a $13 million push from the Gates Foundation “to advance the monthly pill to human trials, with a focus on bringing it to low- and middle-income countries.”

Boston-area company Lyndra Therapeutics projects it will begin human testing of its monthly contraceptive pill sometime in 2021. Wired reports Lyndra is “planning to spend most of next year conducting surveys in three African countries together with the Gates Foundation to gain a better understanding of regional birth control needs.” For what it’s worth, “It’ll also be moving forward with phase I and II trials for longer-lasting malaria, HIV, and schizophrenia treatments.”

The Wired article, it is worth noting, employs odd genderless language like this: “In the US, more than 15 million Americans will spend a few seconds every day locating and swallowing a birth control pill,” and “In the US, nine out of every 100 people using oral birth control become pregnant in any given year.” Due to fear of offending transgender persons, the fact that women have been popping these hormone bombs for decades goes unacknowledged.

For more details, visit Wired at:


Barbara E. Rose is Web Editor of the NOR.

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