The gel formula is supposed to work is so effective that men’s sperm counts “do not or barely levels.”
You would think that the male birth control would have advanced a bit further by now. For decades, men have had to choose between abstinence, condoms or surgery—all of the options seem to be either too little or too extremely.
However, a new alternative has been undergoing clinical trials as we speak.
According to an NIH press release, the gel works by combining Nestorone and testosterone in a way that suppresses the production of sperm.
In fact, the formula should work so effective that the men’s graves will be on “no or hardly any levels,” the statement said.
For the test, both men and women undergo the screening. Men should rub the gel on their back and shoulders each day for up to 16 weeks.
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Once sperm have reached a certain threshold, the pair will have to rely fully on the gel for 52 weeks.
The taste is perhaps a little like playing chicken with your own fertility. However, the gel can fill a gap that has been missing in the world for a while.
Currently, the NIH is looking for 420 people who are willing to take part in the research.
The gel developed by the Population Council, in collaboration with the NIH during the test.
So will the method work? The researchers are hopeful.
“A safe, effective and reversible method of male birth control would fill an important public health need,” study researcher Dr. Diana Blithe said in the NIH statement.
It is interesting that the Population Council has already tested Nestorone and estradiol combination for suppression of ovulation in women.
Research has proven that it has so far. In fact, the gel has also been shown to be well tolerated in women, a big plus for those who do not like the side effects of a birth control pill.
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The male version of this study focused on the completion in September 2021. This leaves plenty of time to find out whether the method works.
Yet another issue is on the game, also here will the people actually use?
Dr. William Bremner from the University of Washington School of Medicine told NBC News that he thinks they are. Bremner is currently busy with the testing of the new gel.
However, not that many men use the birth control method they have: condoms. According to the 2017 National Health Statistics Report, only 34 percent of the men used condoms between the period 2011-2015.
Of those, not all men used the each time. The study found only 24 percent had used during each intimate session in the previous four weeks.
Of course, these facts do not necessarily determine how popular a contraceptive gel can be. A gel provides a simple, invisible way for men to control reproduction.
If he passes the test, this new method could give men and women, for that matter—a freedom they have never had. Science may have taken a while to get there. But better late than never, right?