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No more pills: Male contraceptive takes new approach
Date:5/12/2010

fective. Preliminary results from that study gave the UNC team confidence to apply for further funding from the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations.

Meanwhile, completely independently, researchers in Italy were exploring whether they could use repeated doses of ultrasound for permanent nonsurgical sterilization in dogs. They were successful, and published their work in a veterinary journal (Reproduction in Domestic Animals) in 2009. Their further results were presented as a poster presentation at the April 2010 Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs conference in Dallas, Texas.

"It's pretty funny-- the dogs think it's a game," says Raffaella Leoci, chief author of the study. "They lie on their side, and we move the transducer around their testes for 5 minutes at a time, just like a physical therapist would do to treat an injury in your wrist or back. They like the attention-- for them it's a warm massage. But we do it 3 times in a row 2 days apart, and after that they're infertile." The team's next goal is to see whether 2 longer sessions would work as well as 3 short ones. Encouraged by the preliminary FHI/UNC team results, a team at the University of California is also doing a pilot study exploring ultrasound in larger animals, with results expected next year.

SUPPORT

Other researchers are supportive of the University of North Carolina team's grant win. "It's great that many people are working on ultrasound-- it will make it easier to get the answers we need," says Leoci. "We're working on our application for the next round right now, and it's quite hard to convey all the issues and the excitement in only two pages. They must have managed to do that in their application-- so they've done a real service to science."

But men have been hearing that the hormonal "male Pill" is right around the corner for years. Could a new approach like this work out any better? Gary Gamerman, a regulatory c
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Contact: Elaine Lissner
415-839-6304
Male Contraception Information Project
Source:Eurekalert  

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