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British Man Becomes World's First Person to Trial a New Male Contraceptive Gel

Researchers say, the gel, which is applied topically, uses a combination of progesterone and testosterone which are absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream.

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Updated:June 28, 2019, 3:22 PM IST
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British Man Becomes World's First Person to Trial a New Male Contraceptive Gel
Researchers say, the gel, which is applied topically, uses a combination of progesterone and testosterone which are absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream.

A British man, James Owers, has become one of the first in the world to trial a new male contraceptive gel. Owers and his girlfriend Diana Bardsley from Edinburgh volunteered to take part in the study, which is being led in the UK by Saint Mary’s Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, and the University of Edinburgh.

According to a report published in Independent, the international trial is studying the effectiveness of the hormone gel, called NES/T. The research saw experts analysing 450 couples who have agreed to use it as their only form of contraception for the next 12 months.

Researchers say, the gel, which is applied topically, uses a combination of progesterone and testosterone which are absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream.

According to them, the progesterone stops sperm from being produced and the testosterone negates the effect of a possible drop in hormone levels. This means that users can continue having normal sex drive.

Volunteers in the study will have their sperm count checked regularly to ensure that the gel works effectively.

Speaking about how to use the gel, Owers revealed to BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast that one has to squeeze a bit of the gel and rub it onto a person's shoulder and pectoral area and that dries in three to four seconds. They have to repeat it on the other shoulder and then get dressed.

Dr Cheryl Fitzgerals, one of the lead authors of the study said that while the study was going "very well", the widespread availabity of a male contraceptive could still be some years away.

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