The development of a safe and effective male contraceptive has long been a goal of medical professionals (and frustrated women) everywhere.
For years now, the responsibility of pregnancy-prevention has fallen on female partners, many of whom struggle with side-effects brought on by hormonal contraceptives, while a lot men go-on as if they never attended a sex-education class in their lives.
As it stands, men only have two options when it comes to birth control – condoms or a vasectomy. However, that could all be about to change with the introduction of a new contraceptive gel for men.
The gel, which is used to temporarily decrease sperm count in men, is due to be tested in April of next year.
The clinical trail is set to run for about four years and will be the largest hormonal male contraceptive test in the US to date.
So, how does it work?
The new gel is rubbed into men's upper arms and shoulders everyday, allowing two two synthetic hormones, testosterone and a form of progestin, to soak into their bloodstreams.
Speaking to Technology Review, Diana Blithe, program director for contraception development at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health, said:“It’s not a lot of effort. It’s just remembering to use it every day.”
So far, the method has proved effective in an initial six-month study by significantly reducing the sperm count for 89 per cent of men.
What's more, results showed there was a complete absence of sperm production in 78 per cent of men.
However, while these results might look promising, it will likely be several years before the product becomes available to the public.