Researchers have started a clinical trial involving 420 participants for a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) funded study; they are investigating the efficacy of a topical contraceptive gel for men.
If successful, it could be a breakthrough in the search for a male contraceptive. Two hormones in the gel, a progestin hormone with the brand name Nestorone, and testosterone are meant to reduce a man’s sperm count to the point of infertility. But don’t expect to see the gel in drugstores anytime soon. The trial doesn’t wrap up until 2022, and the results will show whether or not additional trials are warranted.
However, this work has been going on since 2009, and refinements have been made already. “We’ve had over 200 men exposed to the medication, and we’ve never had any serious adverse events,” the trial’s principal investigator Christina Wang of Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute told Gizmodo. “But we will be monitoring everything very closely.”