A trial is set to test a new hormonal contraceptive for men in 400 couples across the globe (60 in the UK and 340 in nine international locales). In the study, University of Manchester researchers will initially give male volunteers ages 18 to 45 up to four courses of injections of a combination of two hormones, testosterone undecanoate and norethisterone enantate, over six months. Both hormones have already been tested in trials for safety and were shown to cause only mild side effects in a small group of participants.
The couples will then be asked to rely on the hormonal method of contraception for one year during which time the male partner will receive an injection every eight weeks. The Contraceptive Research Development (CONRAD) Programme at the Eastern Virginia Medical School and the World Health Organization will fund the study.
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"There is currently a great imbalance of contraceptive methods between men and women with almost 20 different female methods compared to only condoms and vasectomy for men," said lead researcher Frederick Wu, Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology, in a press release.
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That's one heckuva ratio, isn't it? We'd say it's about time we get on with the development of a male contraceptive that's easy to use and effective. We'll definitely have our eyes out for the results of this clinical trial. And we sure hope it goes well, or a whole cast of couples could be in for a surprise they weren't quite expecting.
Readers: Is this something your man would go for? Do you think he'd be one to volunteer for such a trial?