It’s only fair that men share the responsibility of using a hormone-based birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Now, new research has brought that possibility just a littler bit closer to reality. A study by researchers at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center shows that a sperm-inhibiting gel has been shown to significantly reduce men’s reproductive abilities, thereby lowering the risk of impregnation.
The gel, which would likely be applied using a patch, uses two types of hormones: sperm-inhibiting testosterone and a synthetic chemical called progestin, which amplifies testosterone’s ability to turn off reproductive hormones. The two have been used together before in pill, implant, and shot form, but progestin was shown to have side effects like acne breakouts and fluctuations in cholesterol level, says Thomas H. Maugh II at the Los Angeles Times. In this study, researchers used a progestin synthetic called Nestorone, which supposedly doesn’t cause any such side effects.
But how effective is this potential birth control for men?