One step closer to male pill
2 May 2006
A review of data taken from 30 trials on hormonal contraception for men which involved around 1,500 subjects has shown that the effects of the treatment become reversible after a few months, bringing us a step closer to an effective form of male contraception.
The study, which appears in the most recent issue of The Lancet was led by Dr Peter Liu from the University’s ANZAC Research Institute based at Concord Hospital.
Dr Liu and his colleagues found that it took an average of 15 weeks for sperm to regain fertile levels after taking the contraceptive, with factors such as age, original sperm count, length of treatment and ethnic origin affecting the recovery rate.
‘These findings increase the promise of new contraceptive drugs allowing men to share more fairly the responsibility of family planning,’ said Dr Liu. ‘We still need to work out the best form of formulations is, whether it’s a pill, patch or injection, but it will be a better alternative than the current methods of male contraception that include condoms, withdrawal or vasectomy which are either unreliable or irreversible.’
The male contraceptives use the hormone androgen, or a mixture of androgen and progestogen combinations of hormones to switch off sperm production, the same way as the female contraceptive pill suppresses ovulation.
Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy
Phone: Ph: +61 2 9351 4312 or M: 0421 617 861