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December 12, 2018

A contraceptive gel being tested for men is looking for volunteers

November 30, 2018
A contraceptive gel currently in the testing stage could present a birth control alternative for men. (Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images)

Do you really gel as a couple?

The National Institute of Health is looking for 420 couples to try a combination of testosterone and a compound called segesterone-acetate that diminishes sperm production when rubbed into a man’s back and shoulders. The contraceptive gel, which is to be applied daily, is absorbed through the skin.

“The progestin blocks natural testosterone production in the testes, reducing sperm production to low or nonexistent levels,” the NICHD explained in a statement. The combination is not effective if consumed orally.

There is no commercial male contraceptive available now. Men use condoms or undergo vasectomies.

Parameters are fairly wide for couples looking to take part in the experiment to produce what would be the only chemical contraceptive on the market for males.

Among other things, men wanting to participate must be between the ages of 18 to 50, at least a year into a monogamous relationship with their and willing “to accept a low but unknown risk of conceiving a pregnancy for the duration of the trial.”

Women hoping to take part in the study are required to be between 18 and 34 years old, have no known fertility issues and not currently be pregnant.

The gel would likely not serve to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

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