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Of mice and men: new male contraceptives successful in rodents and humans
Date:9/28/2007

Pills, sponges, IUDs, diaphragms-- women have many options for planning their fertility, none of them quite perfect. But what if men want to help out? They have only two options -- vasectomy, which is usually permanent, and condoms, which are crucial for dating but get old in long-term relationships. Will men ever have a way to reliably make sure that nobody is every calling them "Daddy" before they are ready?

For decades, pundits have predicted new contraceptives for men within the next 5 to 10 years. But judging from work presented today at the second "Future of Male Contraception" conference, we may finally be getting closer. Some highlights from the second day of the conference:

- Researchers from the University of Washington tried a hormone regimen based on two products already available on the market. They used testosterone gel, which is marketed for men with low testosterone, plus a progestin shot used as a female contraceptive under the name "DepoProvera." The men got a shot once every 3 months and rubbed on a gel every day, and it worked well at knocking out sperm in 90% of them. However, men's opinions of the method varied widely: 6 dropped out, and of the remaining 38, half of them were satisfied or very satisfied, a third were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, and the rest were undecided or had mixed feelings.

- Shepherd Medical Company announced the results of their very first U.S. study in men of the "Intra Vas Device" (a vasectomy alternative): after 6 months, 92% of the men had no sperm or almost no sperm. The Intra Vas Device blocks sperm in the vas deferens, the tube sperm swim through (the same tube that is cut in vasectomy). The set of plugs can be removed if a man changes his mind, so it is much easier to get sperm flowing again than after vasectomy. Animal studies have shown that fertility returns if the IVD is removed after short-term use, but that doesn't guarantee successful pregnancy afte
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Contact: Elaine Lissner
415-839-6304
Male Contraception Information Project
Source:Eurekalert

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