There are plenty of contraceptive methods for women, while for men our options are extremely limited. They can either choose wearing a condom, or maybe they prefer something more drastic and get a vasectomy, but they have no other options beside these two. Therefore, researchers are planning to start testing a brand new male birth control method in the form of a topical gel.
Combining two hormonal birth control gels into one
This represents the first testing effort performed on a hormonal birth control for men. The topical gel is probably the easiest to use, as all users have to do is to apply it on their skin. However, be careful. The gel works when applied anywhere, so the experts are advising men not to rub their genitals with it.
In 2012, researchers tested a similar method which involved two ointments with effects similar to this topical gel. Those results showed how the sperm count of the users went down and reached less than one million per milliliter. This is incredibly low, as even a sperm count of 200 million per milliliter can affect one’s ability to procreate.
However, applying two gels can seem unpractical, and many men might be tempted not to use it. Therefore, researchers decided to gather all the capabilities of the two into one single topical gel. The two methods used hormones, namely testosterone and progesterone. It also contained nestorone, which can prevent the testicles from producing enough sperm cells.
The topical gel should drop the sperm count to less than one million per milliliter
The trial will gather over 400 couples coming from different regions of the world. They will have to use about a teaspoon of the topical gel every day, and rub it on their shoulders and arms. In one minute, the gel should already be absorbed, and it would start bringing down the sperm cell number in about 72 hours.
For about four months, the participants will have to keep applying the topical gel. At the same time, their partners will also be using a different type of birth control. They will stop doing it once the sperm count of their men would drop to less than one million per milliliter.
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