Why This Male Birth Control Pill May Revolutionize Sex

Substitute for condoms is meant to block testosterone.

male birth control
A male birth control alternative to condoms may soon be on the market. (Getty Images)
Getty Images

The first male contraceptive gel is entering phase II of its clinical trial — a giant leap for the sexually active kind.

More than 400 men are reporting to one of nine sites across the world that are experimenting with samples of the testosterone-blocking gel that experts are calling the most promising male hormonal contraceptive ever tested, The Daily Beast reported.

“This is the first time that we will actually have men — similar to the female pill or some patches that women use — administer the contraceptive themselves,” Dr. Stephanie Page, who is heading up the trials at the University of Washington, told the news site. “Seeing the launch of a trial across multiple continents and centers is really exciting.”

The product Sworen is testing is called NES/T, a progestin compound combined with supplemental levels of testosterone. The compound also known as Nestorone, is the same one found in some female birth control rings, but is instead applied on the back and shoulders and absorbed through the skin. NES/T blocks testosterone production in men, temporarily reducing the amount of sperm until the user is, effectively, “shooting blanks.”

The gel is being marketed as much more reliable than other, failed male contraceptives because the testosterone was added to make up for the reduced hormone levels in the testes. It also is meant to prevent such side-effects as low sex drive and mood swings.

The initial results back up the claims with successful studies showing sperm counts lowering to infertility levels in nearly 90% of participating men.

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