And men and advocates continued to push for more research. "We have more than 5,000 signatures on our petition calling for funders to move male methods forward," said Kirsten Thompson, director of MaleContraceptives.org, the most popular nonprofit source for information on new methods. "And every week we get more."
For many years, funders believed that men were not interested in contraception-- but that began to change with generational shifts and when advocates pointed out that between condoms and vasectomy, men were already covering a third of the contraception in the United States. In some countries, the numbers are even higher-- in New Zealand, a survey showed that more than half the men in their 40's had vasectomies.
But though attitudes began to change, funding was still a problem. "There's really been a trickle of funding compared to other research areas like heart disease or AIDS," said Lissner. "Most of it went to hormonal methods, and the rest was spread pretty thin."
Finally, a new foundation with advocacy roots, Parsemus Foundation, got the opportunity to give ultrasound a chance. The foundation was not large enough to do all the studies necessary to get ultrasound through FDA approval for this use-- but at least it could try for proof of concept. In 2007, the foundation funded a study by a team of top researchers from Family Health International and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After significant effort, the researchers found a dose level and treatment protocol that was ef
|Contact: Elaine Lissner|
Male Contraception Information Project