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Male contraceptive '100% effective' - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Oct. 7th, 2003

12:41 am - Male contraceptive '100% effective'

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Via krikket:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,11381,1057129,00.html

Male contraceptive '100% effective'

Sally Bolton
Monday October 6, 2003

Australian scientists announced today that they have developed a 100% effective, injectable male contraceptive that could provide a side effect-free alternative to the female pill.



In the first complete trial of a male contraceptive, 55 men received a treatment comprising testosterone and progestin, the latter being a hormone used in female contraceptive injections.

The five-year study showed that when given to participants every three to four months by injection and implants under the skin of their abdomens, the treatment effectively and reversibly "switched off" sperm production for a full year.

None of the men showed any side effects and none of their partners became pregnant, scientists from the Anzac Research Institute in Sydney said.

Professor David Handelsman said in a statement on the institute's website: "This is the first time a ... male contraceptive that will suppress sperm production reliably and reversibly has been fully tested by couples."

Previous attempts to develop an effective and convenient male contraceptive have encountered problems with reliability, and side effects such as mood swings and a lowered sex drive.

The trial used the progestin, DMPA, and testosterone to flick a reversible "switch" in the brain that initiates puberty, causing the body to stop sperm production. The testosterone also ensured male health and libido, countering the progestin, which causes natural levels of the male hormone to fall.

Some participants in the trial even reported an increase in their libido, and once they came off the trial participants found that their fertility returned within six to seven months.

"We used a hormonal implant to replace testosterone given every four months and the progestin DMPA was injected every three months," Prof Handelsman said. "This shows the way for a final product ... it is now over to the companies to develop a convenient and acceptable one."

The scientists added that their treatment could be made available as a single injection. A tablet version of the contraceptive - a male pill - may be on the market within two to three years, the Daily Mail reported today.

Female contraceptive injections, which involve the periodic application of progestins such as DMPA into a muscle under the skin, have been widely available for several years. So far they have shown no serious side effects, although it can take up to a year for female fertility to return.

A male contraceptive could provide an alternative for couples where the woman runs a higher than normal risk of the rare but serious side effects of the female pill, such as blood clots, heart disease and stroke. It could also prove useful for men whose partners are breastfeeding and so cannot take the female pill.

The scientists described the new male contraceptive as "like a reversible vasectomy"; useful for men who are unsure about whether to undergo surgical sterilisation.

Prof Handelsman said it was about providing people with choice.

"The results of this study foreshadow how men may be able to take greater responsibility for contraception in a convenient and effective way," he said.

Comments:

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From:rachelmills
Date:October 6th, 2003 11:33 pm (UTC)
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Now how will we trick guys into marrying us? This is patently anti-woman and anti-family.
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From:crasch
Date:October 11th, 2003 02:29 pm (UTC)
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There's always "I'm not having sex with you till we get married." That one seems to work pretty well.
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From:rachelmills
Date:October 11th, 2003 03:20 pm (UTC)
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No that can really backfire on us when the men turn out to be terrible in bed. ;) Not recommended.
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From:auriam
Date:October 6th, 2003 11:46 pm (UTC)
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Innnnteresting..
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From:mrangel
Date:October 7th, 2003 02:32 am (UTC)
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The article in my local paper contained remarks from one of the lead scientists, who said that his research was intended to benefit those in commited relationships who didn't want to have children, and that he worried that some men might use this as an excuse for promiscuity. That seemed a little judgemental to me. It also noted one side effect, increased sex drive, though there were no complaints about that.
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From:rachelmills
Date:October 7th, 2003 03:45 am (UTC)
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Increased sex drive? Increased? Some women might have complaints about that. ;)
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From:blueadept
Date:October 7th, 2003 04:54 am (UTC)
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Sign me up! I can't wait till this goes on the market.
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From:joe_tofu
Date:October 7th, 2003 07:30 am (UTC)

the risk i think

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I was reading a bit about this a few weeks ago. Somebody had written, and it seemed to make sense to me, that there is a real risk that promiscuous people would use it as an excuse not to use condoms, thus increasing the spread of STDs. But, progress is progress, the pill is coming and we'll just have to deal. I for one would love to take it.
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From:crasch
Date:October 11th, 2003 02:26 pm (UTC)
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Me too. And it may increase the spread of STD's. However, at least the people getting STD's are adults and are taking on the risks voluntarily. Unwanted kids have no such choice.
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From:sarah2624
Date:October 7th, 2003 07:45 am (UTC)
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Thats a good idea and all I just dont see that going over to well with the men.
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From:joe_tofu
Date:October 7th, 2003 07:57 am (UTC)

how-to

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Here's how you convince your man:
One day, say "Honey, my period is now a week late."
Give him a few days to sweat.
Then finally tell him that you're not pregnant after all and wouldn't he like to go on the pill now?
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From:fishsupreme
Date:October 7th, 2003 01:06 pm (UTC)
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I don't see why it wouldn't go over well with men. I don't think men are hugely more fond of unplanned pregnancies than women are. Even irresponsible ones that abandon their children would presumably rather have not had the children in the first place, and they're a tiny minority already.
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From:halleyscomet
Date:October 9th, 2003 11:23 am (UTC)

Where do I sigh up?

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Increased sex drive and a zero sperm count.

I LIKE it!

I've wanted there to be something like this for as long as I've been having sex. I'd happily go on "the pill" and am looking forward to it's availability to the general public.

:)
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From:crasch
Date:October 11th, 2003 02:25 pm (UTC)
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Me too! I'd love to have a male contraceptive option other than the condom.
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