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More Birth Control Options for Men on the Way

More than 140 male contraception researchers from around the globe recently gathered in Seattle to discuss new alternatives to condoms and vasectomies. At the two-day “Future of Male Contraception” conference, whose sponsors included the World Health Organization, the University of Washington, and the National Institutes of Health, researchers unveiled a number of new viable birth control options for men, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Clinical trials at the University of Washington found that a testosterone gel in combination with a progestin shot (both already on the market) knocked out sperm in 90 percent of men. Columbia University researchers discovered a drug that worked successfully on mice by interfering with Vitamin A receptors in the testes, reports Science Daily. And according to Medical News Today, University of Pittsburgh researchers announced that a non-hormonal oral contraceptive has proven effective and reversible in monkeys.

“We’ve seen today that the pipeline is full–everything from new targets to actual human trials,” Kirsten Thompson, director of the International Male Contraceptive Coalition said of the conference. “You’ll never have all men interested, but attitudes have really changed—studies consistently show a majority of men would consider it,” Elaine Lissner, director of the nonprofit Male Contraception Information Project, told Medical News Today.

Sources:

Science Daily 10/3/07; Seattle Post-Intelligencer 9/27/07; Medical News Today 10/1/07