Home » Male birth control gel is safe and effective, new trial findings show

Male birth control gel is safe and effective, new trial findings show

by UNN Feed

Every morning for a year and a half, Logan Whitehead, 24, rubbed a clear gel on his shoulders, waited for it to dry, then went about his day as usual.

“It was basically like a hand sanitizer solution,” said Whitehead, who lives in Torrance, California. “Smelled like hand sanitizer, looked like hand sanitizer.”

The gel wasn’t hand sanitizer, though. It was a hormonal solution meant to block Whitehead’s sperm production. The gel was male birth control.

Until this past winter when his participation concluded, Whitehead was a volunteer in a phase 2 trial for the gel. The product — which contains testosterone and a synthetic hormone called Nestorone that reduces sperm production — is the most advanced among a crop of novel birth control options for men.

If the Food and Drug Administration approves the gel, Whitehead said he would definitely keep using it, especially after watching his partner struggle with available female birth control options.

“The gel was such an easy process,” he said. “It was basically like taking the pill for the day.”

Whitehead said he didn’t notice side effects using the gel beyond some upper back acne and possibly a bit of weight gain, although that could have been linked to a new sedentary job.

Hormonal gel trial shows promise

On Sunday, at the Endocrine Society’s conference in Boston, researchers with the National Institutes of Health’s Contraceptive Development Program presented encouraging phase 2 trial results on the hormonal gel.

The trial involved 222 men, ages 18 to 50, who applied 5 milliliters of the gel (about a teaspoon) to each of their shoulder blades once per day.

The second part of the two-part trial is still underway. Initial findings showed that the contraceptive worked faster than expected, according to Diana Blithe, chief of NIH’s Contraceptive Development Program.

After 12 weeks of applying the gel every day, 86% of trial participants achieved sperm suppression, meaning they had only up to 1 million…

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