The birth control pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and many researchers feel women need new options.
"Women realize that they can't allow the male to take full responsibility, that they're going to be the ones who will suffer the consequences whether it's a pregnancy or whether it's a sexually transmitted disease," says Dr. Michael Thomas, a Preproductive Endocrinologist at the University of Cincinnati.
So, at the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Thomas is leading the study of two new spermicides that offer effective birth control and protect against sexually transmitted diseases at the same time. Both are gels. One is called buffergel. The other doesn't have a name yet. It's just called C-31-G.
"Anything to help empower women, I think is a really great thing to be part of," says Heidi Schran, a participant in the study.
Right now, the gels are only available to people like Heidi who are part of the study.