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Testosterone Tested as Male Contraceptive

Study Shows Monthly Injections in Men Can Prevent Partners' Pregnancies

Studying Testosterone's Effects continued...

There was no evidence of major side effects, and all but two of the men in the study returned to normal fertility after stopping the injections. The average time it took for the men to return to normal fertility was around six and a half months.

Gu says more study is needed to examine the long-term safety of the TU treatment.

In an editorial accompanying the study, male fertility researcher David Handelsman, MD, of the University of Sydney writes that several other promising male contraceptives are under development with little help from the pharmaceutical industry.

He argues that there is a clear need and demand for a practical hormonal contraceptive option for men.

"Whatever the reasons for the strike by large pharmaceutical companies ... the disconnect between the lay and medical perception of both a need and a niche for [hormonal male contraception], on the one hand, and the failure of the pharmaceutical market to deliver a product, despite the demonstration of feasibility, is puzzling, indeed," he writes.

Lissner says governments and nonprofit foundations are taking the lead in developing new hormonal and nonhormonal male birth control.

She points out that the Gates Foundation has made contraceptive development one of the four pillars of its new reproductive strategy.

"We are very fortunate to have a more promising political environment than we have had," she says. "This is a good time for male contraception, but I don't think we can count on the pharmaceutical companies to do this."


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