The next five to ten years may see the development of a new contraceptive pill that reduces breast cancer risk as well as heart disease. It also has the added benefit of eliminating periods.
The Combined Pill, currently available to women around the world is a combination of estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen however increases the risk of breast cancer and heart problems such as deep vein thrombosis.
Another, progesterone only drug, currently available in Britain also carries a risk of breast cancer mainly because of the progesterone in it.
The revolutionary new Pill uses a class of compounds known as the Progesterone Receptor Modulators (PRMs). These PRMs prevent the secretion of progesterone, which helps to maintain pregnancy.
As it neither contains estrogen nor progesterone but rather blocks the production of the latter, risks of breast cancer and heart problems are significantly reduced. Unlike the currently available drugs this new Pill also stops periods completely.
The new Pill could also herald an era of freedom from premenstrual symptoms and even endometriosis.
Professor David Baird, emeritus professor of reproductive endocrinology at the University of Edinburgh, has revealed that these PRMs were clinically tested on small groups of women with positive results and minimal side effects.
Teams in Sweden, Chile and the US have also worked on similar projects with the same compounds.
However experts warn that pro-life groups and the US Bush administration were hampering progress on the development of the new Pill as the new compound was developed on the basis of the RU486 abortion pill.
Pharmaceutical companies were also reluctant to market this drug for the very same reason.
Scientists claim that the development of this new Pill could bring transformations for millions of women. It would also reduce the risks of breast cancer and heart problems, which accompany the currently available contraceptive pills.