Male pill with no side-effects trialed
We've heard it all before but now it seems that the search for a male pill might be on the last lap. Except that at this stage it's not a pill, it's an injection.
In research at the Anzac Research Institute gave an injection and implants of the new male contraceptive to 55 couples. Not one pregnancy resulted and, unlike previous 'male pills', the men suffered no side effects such as mood swings or loss of sex drive. In fact, some participants said their sex drive had increased. The treatment involved an injection of a hormone every three months to stop sperm production and an implant of testosterone every four months. Would you fancy it?
Principal investigator Professor David Handelsman said. 'We used a hormonal implant to replace testosterone given every four months and the progestin DMPA, was injected every three months. This shows the way for a final product to be a single injection containing testosterone and a progestin which will easily given by local doctors on a 3-4 monthly basis and still maintain male sexual health.' A pill version could be available in three years or so. When either will actually be available to the man in the street in Australia or the UK is any body's guess at this stage.
If a male contraceptive in this form were to come to market, it would certainly have major workload implications for the NHS. Nor does the research answer the key questions: will men want to take it and will women believe them when they say they have?
The researchers have produced a simple PDF showing how the new contraceptive works.
Page created on October 24th, 2003
Page updated on January 16th, 2010