While scientists have been experimenting with conjuring up a male contraception for quite some time, it looks like there could be something on the market very soon as a new contraceptive gel is about to be trialled.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US government is starting trials of a male birth control gel.
If it proves safe and effective, it will be the first form of contraception for men since condoms were first introduced.
New male contraceptive gel is about to be trialled
420 men are set to try out the gel as their only form of birth control for potentially a year.
The new contraceptive gel is called NES/T and contains two hormones – progestin and testosterone. The gel is absorbed through the skin when the gel is rubbed onto a man’s back and shoulders.
Progestin is what will stop the testes from producing sperm and testosterone is what produces a man’s sex drive.
Men in the trial will put the gel on every day for four to 12 weeks initially, and the trial could go on for a whole year.
Sperm levels will be measured during this time, and once scientists believe they are producing a low enough concentration of sperm, they will be able to have intercourse with their partners.
It take two to tango
At the moment, men only have limited options when it comes to birth control: condoms, withdrawal (an unreliable method) or vasectomy. This new method would provide the first long-lasting and reversible male contraception.
Women have various contraceptive options such as the pill, diaphragm, coil, implant and injection.
This gel, if successful, will help take some of the burden off women when it comes to birth control.
“A safe, highly effective and reversible method of male contraception would fill an important public health need,” said study investigator Diana Blithe, Ph.D., in a press release.
“Many women cannot use hormonal contraception and male contraceptive methods are limited to vasectomy and condoms.”
Now, they only need to find a way for men to fall pregnant! Would you be keen for your partner to try this gel if it was on the market?
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