When it comes to taking charge of one's reproductive fate, women have had reliable birth control methods for decades now. For men the story is completely different. Though not for lack of trying, the medical establishment has failed to produce a consistently reliable method of contraception that is both non-permanent and healthy for men to take. But research coming out of Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center could change that via a simple gel applied directly to the skin.
The key ingredients here are well-known--they've been combined in hopes of creating a male contraceptive before. The male hormone testosterone, which naturally possesses some contraceptive effectiveness, and progestin, which boosts the effectiveness of the testosterone, have been tried in tandem before. Previously these methods involved injections of progestin, or pills or even implants that administer it. And they've been largely ineffective.
The breakthrough here is the introduction of a new synthetic progestin called Nestorone, which along with testosterone leads to dramatic reductions in sperm production that make pregnancy a far outside chance. Applied to the skin together through transdermal gels, testosterone and Nestorone produce significantly reduced sperm counts in roughly 89 percent of men. Moreover, the gels can be easily applied by men at home; no need to swing by the clinic at regular intervals for a booster shot of progestin. Nestorone also cuts down on some of the side effects--acne, changes in cholesterol levels, etc.--associated with some other progestins.
Of course, reduced sperm count in 89 percent of men isn't exactly perfect (women using approved birth control experience pregnancy at a rate of just three-tenths of a percent per year, by comparison). Figuring out that last ten percent or so will no doubt be the hardest part of this research, so don't look for these lotions on store shelves anytime in the near future.
I wonder how much horse pee was used in the making of this product?
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What happened to the ultrasound method? Some researchers were using ultrasound equipment on the nether-regions to effectively make men sterile for up to 3 years I think. I'd go for that before I put some new chemical in my body.
I wonder if using stem cells to engineer a wall in the vas deferens would work better than cauterization. It would be pierced by a doctor and a bioplastic stint used to keep it open when trying to conceive a child. Then months latter it will heal up and stop the sperm again. It could remain for a lifetime and pierced each time a child is trying to be conceived.
Gee, I thought NFP was working better than 89% for years now; more like 99%+. Guess it helps to stand on your head to look at the issue though.
@lawsonrw Wouldn't the ultrasound be damaging your testes? Besides, it sounds like testosterone and progestin are hormones already found in our bodies not foreign chemicals. Not to say the increase of hormones won't damage something else in your body. The idea sounds interesting though.
Ya know, I've got the perfect place I have exposed skin on which this could be applied.
I think this is by far the most likely option for male contraception: