Saturday , October 16 2021

Federal health researchers start testing a male contraceptive gel

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By Maggie Fox

The National Institutes of Health is looking for a few good men to try out a new birth control gel for men.

The gel, rubbed into the shoulders daily, gradually brings down sperm counts so that men can not make a woman pregnant. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the NIH, plans to register about 400 couples at sites around the world to test how well the gel works to prevent pregnancy, and check out how well people like it and whether men will use it as directed.

"This is the first time that people use it as part of a couple to test for effectiveness," said Diana Blithe, head of NICHD's Contraceptive Development Program.

The gel formulation, called NES / T, includes a progestin-containing compound called Seedterone acetate, which is made under the brand name Nestorone, along with a testosterone dose.

"It is applied to the back and shoulders and absorbed through the skin. The progestin blocks the natural testosterone production in the tests, reducing the sperm production to low or nonexistent levels, "the NICHD said in a statement.

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