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Federal health researchers are beginning to test a male contraceptive gel

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At Maggie Fox

National Institutes of Health are looking for some good men to try a new contraceptive gel for men.

The gel, rub the shoulders daily, gradually reducing sperm so that men can not make a woman pregnant. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of NIH, plans to report around 400 couples in places around the world to test how well the gel works to prevent pregnancy and also check how well people like it and whether men will use it as instructed.

“This is the first time men use it as part of a pair to test for efficiency,” said Diana Blithe, director of NICHD’s Prevention Development Program.

The gel formulation, called NES / T, contains a progestin-containing compound called Segesterone acetate, manufactured under the Nestorone brand, together with a dose of testosterone.

“It is applied on the back and shoulders and absorbed through the skin. Progestin blocks natural testosterone production in the testicles, which reduces sperm production to low or non-existent levels,” NICHD said in a statement.

It is formulated as a gel because Nestorone is not absorbed by the body when taken orally and testosterone remains in the body for an entire day when taken as a pill. Both hormones last longer and work better when dosed through the skin.

There is no commercially male hormonal contraceptive in the American market now All men have to choose between are condoms or vasectomy.

“Over the world, 85 million pregnancies (40 percent of all pregnancies) per year are unplanned, which contributes to a higher incidence of negative health outcomes for women and infants.” developed the product, said in a statement.

Nestorone, in combination with the hormone oestradiol, used ds also as a female contraceptive. A product was approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August as part of a vaginal ring for women to use as birth control.

How can the same hormone act as a contraceptive for both men and women? This is because many common hormones have similar chemical structures, says Blithe.

In men, the hormone masculins the body in believing it may stop making sperm. In women, it mimics pregnancy and tricks the body into believing it can stop making eggs. “The male usually has low levels of progesterone normally. Now they are exposed to high amounts, and it tells the testicles,” Oh, there’s a lot of steroid around, so I do not need to do anymore now, “said Blithe.

Return testosterone together with Nestorone discontinues unwanted side effects such as low libido and muscle loss, said Blithe.

One question is how effective treatment will be. Different birth control methods have different effects.

“If we talk about a daily pill in women, whether they using it perfectly, the error rate is extremely low, “said Blithe.” Typical usage rate is 7 percent. With condoms, if used perfectly, the error rate is low, but in typical usage rates is 12 percent. “

In theory, one could forget to use the gel for one day without consequences.” If they stop using it for three, four or five days, it does not work properly, “Blithe says.

” I believe that they will use it? Certainly, they can use it and they are willing to use it. But people are human and people forget. “

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