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Study: Clinical Trial begins for male contraceptive gel that can be rubbed onto chest, shoulder

By: Team Ifairer | Posted: 29-06-2019
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Study: Clinical Trial begins for male contraceptive gel that can be rubbed onto chest, shoulder
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A male contraceptive gel that you rub on your chest is being trialled in the UK - which could become an alternative to the pill. The hormone-infused gel is being given to 450 couples who will use it as their only form of contraception for the next year. Men will rub the gel on their chest, shoulders and upper arms every day.

It contains a mixture of progesterone and testosterone - the former stops sperm production in the testes and the latter offsets the drop in testosterone caused by this. If you didn't add testosterone back in, men can see negative side-effects like low mood, lack of sex-drive and weight gain.

One of the problems with a male hormonal contraceptive is that testosterone is metabolised quickly by the liver. This means it can't be delivered effectively by a pill - but progress for other solutions has been building.

A 2016 trial of a hormone jab proved to be similarly effective to the female pill, but some participants had problems like depression and acne. Scientists hope the gel version will have fewer negative effects for users. As well as Britain, it's being trialled in Sweden, Kenya and Chile. The gel is about the same consistency as hand sanitiser and comes in a pump like a toothpaste dispenser, The Guardian reports.

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