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First trial launches to test male contraceptive

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The NES/T gel is designed to decrease a man’s sperm production without reducing his sexual drive or enjoyment. Photo by Hallie Easley/Population Council

SEATTLE — Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine are joining a nationwide clinical trial to test male contraceptive.

They are looking for 400 couples across the U.S. to test the contraceptive, which is a gel that is applied on men’s arms and shoulders.

The gel being tested is composed of Nestorone, a progestin hormone used for female contraception, and testosterone. The contraceptive is reversible.

As part of the trial, men will apply the gel once every day. Researchers will then monitor his sperm count to help minimize the possibility of pregnancy. The process is expected to take eight to 16 weeks.

Results from the trial are expected in 2022.

The Population Council, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute are also part of the trial.

The trial will eventually open up international and include sites in Chile, England, Italy, Kenya, Scotland and Sweden.

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