A Contraceptive Gel for Men Is Headed to Testes, er, Testing

Hey — beats a vasectomy

December 20, 2017 9:00 am

As Sisters Molly Quinn O’Rourke and Kaitlyn O’Shea McDermott drilled into our heads, the only 100% effective method of birth control for men is abstinence (saves you some Hail Marys, to boot). Other than that, our only options have traditionally been condoms and vasectomies (the latter of which is apparently a much more appealing option than you might think).

But that may chage a couple years from now.

According to the MIT Technology Review, researchers will soon begin a four-year clinical trial on a topical gel that may be able to halt the production of sperm. Set to begin in April, the National Institute of Health’s study will rely on results from more than 400 couples in the U.S., the U.K., Italy, Sweden, Chile and Kenya.

Theoretically able to deliver two hormones — progestin and testosterone — more effectively than injections or pills, users will apply the quick-drying gel to the upper arms and shoulders daily. If it works the way researchers hope, a single dose (about a half teaspoon) will be capable of suppressing sperm levels for about 72 hours.

If effective, the biggest issue may be getting men to embrace it. “This is about gender equity,”  Régine Sitruk-Ware of trial Population Council told MIT. “Men would also like to be able to regulate their own fertility and not be forced into fatherhood.”

Unfortunately, even if the gel trial is a success, it’ll be several years before it goes on sale.

While you wait, you may wanna try this

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