Next innovation in contraception

A man and woman laying on a bed looking at each other.

Being able to make a conscious decision on whether and when to have children has strengthened women’s role in society. Contraception not only enabled women to prevent unintended pregnancies, but provided them the opportunity to actively plan their lives including their education and career, whilst effectively managing if and when to have children. 

However, when choosing a contraceptive method, important criteria such as a woman's age, medical history, personal preferences, as well as her expectations of the efficacy and safety profile of a contraceptive method must be considered. It is therefore important to provide access to various hormonal and non-hormonal contraception methods to allow women to make informed decisions about their health and to give them the freedom to choose.


Bayer and Daré Bioscience - Committed to advancing innovative contraception

Bayer and the U.S. biotech company Daré Bioscience have joined forces to expand current contraceptive methods by developing a hormone-free monthly contraceptive. The device is a ring that is inserted into the vagina, providing contraception over three weeks without any action required by the user around the time of intercourse. It  works in two ways: 

  • First, the silicone ring contains and releases ferrous gluconate, which impedes sperm motility. 
  • Second, a unique knitted polymer barrier physically blocks sperm from entering the cervical canal.  
A woman wears a white jacket and a necklace.
As a recognized leader in Women’s Health, the collaboration with Daré Bioscience represents an excellent strategic fit with our vision to continue to offer differentiated contraceptive choices to women
Dr. Marianne de Backer
Member of the Executive Committee and EVP, Head of Business Development & Licensing, Pharmaceuticals Division of Bayer AG

This novel combination of complementary approaches could potentially produce efficacy similar to or better than any existing non-hormonal, non-permanent birth control option.


In a previous test that examined the interaction between sperm and cervical mucus (a postcoital test or PCT), the hormone-free contraceptive ring successfully prevented the requisite number of the sperm from progressing into the cervical canal.


The topline results from the PCT clinical study support continued clinical development of Ovaprene and its potential to be the first hormone-free, monthly contraceptive option for women. In a next step, Daré Bioscience will prepare and file an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) with the FDA - a crucial step that involves presenting the safety and effectiveness data required to commence a pivotal clinical trial. If approved, the contraceptive ring will be a first-in-category option for women seeking a hormone-free, self-administered, fully-reversible, birth control method that works for three weeks.

About Gynecology at Bayer

Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. Women’s health, including family planning and menopause management, has been at the center of Bayer’s gynecology franchise for many years. Today, Bayer’s research efforts focus on finding new treatment options for gynecological diseases with a high medical need, and includes several investigational compounds in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development. Together, these projects reflect the company’s approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to alter the way that gynecological diseases are treated.