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Male birth control gel is safe and effective, new trial findings show

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the development of a new male birth control gel that is currently in clinical trials, as well as other emerging male contraceptive options. It highlights the potential demand for male birth control and the challenges in bringing these products to market.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Male Birth Control Gel

1. What is the male birth control gel and how does it work?

  • The gel contains testosterone and a synthetic hormone called Nestorone that reduces sperm production.
  • Volunteers apply 5 ml of the gel to their shoulders once a day, which helps suppress sperm count to levels effective for contraception.

2. What were the results of the phase 2 clinical trial for the gel?

  • After 12 weeks of daily use, 86% of participants achieved sperm suppression to 1 million sperm per ml or less, which is the target for effective contraception.
  • On average, sperm suppression was achieved in 8 weeks, faster than expected.
  • The combination of testosterone and Nestorone allows for lower doses of testosterone, reducing side effects.

3. What are the next steps for the male birth control gel?

  • Researchers are now tracking how well the gel prevents pregnancy in couples using it as their sole birth control method.
  • However, there is currently no major pharmaceutical company funding the larger phase 3 trials needed for FDA approval, due to uncertainties around demand and profitability.

[02] Other Male Contraceptive Options

1. What other male contraceptive methods are in development?

  • YourChoice Therapeutics is developing a nonhormonal pill that blocks the vitamin A receptor important for male fertility.
  • Contraline and Next Life Sciences are developing injectable gels that block the vas deferens to prevent sperm transport, similar to a vasectomy but reversible.

2. What are the potential advantages of these new male contraceptive methods?

  • They are designed to be reversible, unlike a vasectomy which can be difficult to reverse.
  • They provide alternative options to condoms, which require perfect use to be highly effective.

3. What are the challenges in bringing these new male contraceptives to market?

  • Lack of funding and investment from pharmaceutical companies to support the expensive clinical trials required for FDA approval.
  • Uncertainty around the actual demand for male birth control, as many couples still rely on female contraceptive methods.
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