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New birth control pill to stop menstrual cycle

The new pill, Lybrel, is expected to be approved by the American Food and Drug Administration in May.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 20, 2007 16:05 IST

A birth control pill that would eliminate monthly menstruation till a woman takes it is expected to be approved by the American Food and Drug Administration next month.

The drug's maker, Wyeth, told the paper that it is expecting FDA approval for the new pill called Lybrel in May, but declined to discuss its marketing plans.

The company's research shows that nearly two-thirds of women it surveyed expressed an interest in giving up their periods. That dovetails with the findings of similar research conducted by Linda C. Andrist, a professor at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, the paper says.

Doctors say they know of no extra risk but New York Times reports that some women are uneasy about the idea.

"My concern is that the menstrual cycle is an outward sign of something that is going on hormonally in the body," Christine L Hitchcock, a researcher at the University of British Columbia said. She worries about "the idea that you can turn your body on and off like a tap".

That viewpoint, the Times says, is apparently one reason some already available birth control pills that can enable women to have only four periods a year have not captured a larger share of the oral contraceptive market.

But if the new pill, called Lybrel, is approved, analysts predicts an onslaught of advertising meant to persuade women to do just that.

First Published: Apr 20, 2007 15:05 IST