A new clinical trial to test the success of male contraceptive gel has started in Scotland.
The hormone-infused gel will be used by each of the 450 couples – based in Edinburgh and Manchester – taking part for one year.
The gel, called NES/T, is designed to reduce sperm production without affecting libido and works in a very similar way to the female pill.
A young Scots couple from Edinburgh are one of the first to trial the gel.
Students Joanna McCloskey and her partner Christopher Gray found out about the trial through an advert online, according to Glasgow Live .
They were keen to get involved to help deliver a greater variety of contraceptive measures for couples.
But what exactly is the male contraceptive gel? Here’s everything you need to know:
How does it work?
The gel contains progestogen which works to ‘switch off’ sperm production, meaning sperm count drops to zero after a few months.
The gel also contains testosterone to offset a drop in the male hormone caused by progestogen, which could otherwise cause unpleasant side-effects.
What do males do with the gel?
The gel is rubbed into the guys shoulders and upper arms daily. The men will then attend a monthly clinic, monitored by the clinic trial, to test sperm count.
Participating couples will use the gel as their only form of contraceptive for a year.
What are the side affects?
At the moment the main side affects are unknown, this is what is also being monitored. However, is is thought in the long run the side affects will be much less than the female contraceptive pill.
There’s one inconvenience with it is that the female partner has to avoid touching any part of the body the man has put the gel on to avoid getting a dose of testosterone.
Men are therefore have to either shower before bed or wear a T-shirt when sleeping.
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