What the next 20 years have in store for male birth control, including a gel rubbed into the shoulders

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Nestorone, a male contraceptive testosterone gel. Image: Population Council

[M]ale contraception has been limited to the same two options for the last 100 years: condoms and a vasectomy. Neither is ideal. Condoms have a high failure rate and vasectomies are difficult and expensive to reverse. …

What scientists have known since at least the 1970s, and what they still know today, is that there’s a need for better and simply more forms of male birth control. As of now, women unequivocally shoulder the primary responsibility for family planning — yet difficult side effects can keep women from using their options.

The ideal form of male contraception, [University of Washington John] Amory explains to Inverse, meets six criteria: It needs to be safe, reversible, easily administered, easily monitored, cost less than $300 a year, and be at least 99 percent effective.

Related article:  Unintended benefits of 'the pill': Fewer mood swings and better relationships?

Nestorone®/Testosterone gel is a form of contraception that can be rubbed into a man’s shoulders and back once a day, taking advantage of the transdermal effectiveness of testosterone. … Previous work has shown that when it’s absorbed through the skin, the progestin blocks testosterone production in the testes, which reduces sperm production to low or nonexistent levels. Meanwhile, the replacement testosterone maintains the man’s sex drive and minimizes side effects like acne, weight gain, and altered cholesterol levels.

Read full, original post: A guide to the next 20 years of male birth control

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