Could we soon have a male version of the pill? For many people, unsatisfied with current modes of contraception, the prospect probably sounds too good to be true.
But now the question is being posed in earnest, with the announcement of a trial into a new male contraceptive gel. The gel, called NES/T, will be tested on couples in Edinburgh and Manchester and will work by halting men’s sperm production. If the trial is successful, NES/T could become the first hormonal contraceptive for men.
“It’s a combination of testosterone and a new form of progesterone called Nesterone,” says Dr John Reynolds-Wright, who is leading the study. “It works by making the brain tell the testicles to stop producing sperm, but because there’s testosterone inside the gel, you don’t lose any of the masculine characteristics that testosterone gives you.”
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