February 13, 2015 |

Meet the “Valentine Pill” and three other innovations

More and more women around the world now have family planning options that help them live healthier lives.
A father and mother with their children in front of their home in Uganda.
Scovia Namuyiga with her husband Vincent Mawano and their children, in front of their home in Uganda. They use family planning to space their children so they can choose the size of their family. Photo: PATH/Will Boase.

PATH’s reproductive health teams are hard at work spreading the love in an effort to make sure that women and couples can access and use their preferred contraceptive method.

And to illustrate, we’re highlighting a few of the family planning innovations PATH has had a hand in designing, developing, testing, or delivering to women and their partners around the world—as well as sharing responses from some of the people these innovations are designed to reach.

The Woman’s Condom

Developed by PATH and research partners with input from women and their partners, this innovative method was designed to protect from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Two women examine a Woman's Condom.
“My message to the ladies is: don’t give away your power, but make a choice to live a happy and fulfilled life free of unplanned pregnancies, STIs, and HIV. Try female condoms, it’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved one.” —Married woman, South Africa. Photo: PATH.

The Sayana® Press

Sayana Press is a lower-dose formulation of the three-month contraceptive Depo-Provera® in the Uniject™ injection system. PATH has played a role in the Sayana Press journey, from developing its Uniject delivery mechanism to conducting upcoming research on self-injection.

Hand holding Sayana Press, a tiny needle attached to a small bubble of plastic filled with contraceptive.
“Self-injection of Sayana Press might have a catalyzing effect, involving the husbands. Because the husband can call it in for his wife and go get it. So it can really be catalyzing for the husbands and their involvement in family planning.” —Family planning NGO representative, Senegal. Photo: PATH/Will Boase.

The SILCS Diaphragm

The SILCS diaphragm, marketed as Caya® is a reusable, nonhormonal, one-size fits-most contraceptive device that women helped to design.

A woman holding a SILCS diaphragm in her hands.
“I purchased a Caya diaphragm and absolutely love it! I’ve been using diaphragms for 28 years but this design is far superior as it is easier insertion, easier removal, and, of course, one-size fits-most. Women really need to know how easy, practical, and with no side effects a diaphragm is.” —A Caya diaphragm user, North America. Photo: PATH/PatrickMcKern.

Pericoital or on-demand oral contraceptive

This is a new type of contraceptive pill, in early stages of development, that a woman could take before or after sex to prevent pregnancy—on demand, rather than daily.

A woman stands outside with an infant strapped to her back.
“It should have a beautiful name…the love pill, friendly pill, Valentine pill. It should be packaged in love colours.” —Health provider, Uganda. Photo: PATH/Will Boase.

A brighter future for everyone

When women can plan their families, independently or with their partners, they live healthier lives. And healthier mothers mean healthier children and improved child survival. Families may also have more resources to better care for and educate those children, and communities benefit when women can participate in broader economic and community activities.

We strive to make the world a better place for women, and their families, every day of the year. To learn more about the impact our innovations have had around the global, visit our reproductive health and family planning programs.

More information

Sayana Press and Depo-Provera are registered trademarks of Pfizer Inc. and/or its affiliates. Uniject is a trademark of BD.

Caya® contoured diaphragm is a registered trademark of Kessel medintim GmbH.

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  • Portrait of Tracy Romoser. Photo: PATH/Patrick McKern.
    Tracy Romoser was formerly a communications officer and the blog editor at PATH.