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Men happy to take contraception

According to researchers, Australian men's attitudes to hormonal contraception has found that an overwhelming majority would be prepared to shoulder the responsibility. The researchers, from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Monash Medical Centre, asked the male partners //of women who had recently given birth what contraceptives they used and how they felt about a male contraceptive hormone.

Dr Grath Weston from the Centre for Women's Health Research, lead author of the study, felt that the group is likely to be the first ones who would take it up. Of the 160 Australian-born, English-speaking men approached, 120 need to participate and 74 per cent of those indicated they would 'maybe', 'probably',or 'definitely' try male hormonal contraception.

The participants were asked if they would consider daily tablets, a weekly injection and a two-monthly injection. "These are all methods which may have been researched by pharmaceutical companies as convenient times for modes of administration," Dr Weston explained. The most tested method of male contraception is a hormonal suppressant. Testosterone is injected weekly into muscle, suppressing the production of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone by the pituitary gland. These are the hormones that help drive sperm production.

But this was the least popular mode of administration, with only 1.2 percent of respondents willing to use it. "That was a little disappointing," said Dr Weston. The most popular choice was a daily regime of pills, with 33 per cent of respondents showing a preference for it. This is probably because men are looking at what their partners are taking, and thinking that is what contraception is, Dr Weston suggested.

Men who said they would consider trying male hormonal contraception were also more likely to consider vasectomy acceptable. "I looked at other forms of male initiative of controlling fertility to see if the same men
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