London: A ‘male Pill’ tested by scientists has proved to be as good as its female equivalent after a major study found only one in 100 males using the injections conceived a child. The study has been published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
According to researchers, the testosterone injection could revolutionise family planning methods. “For couples who can not, or prefer not to use only female-oriented contraception, options have been limited to vasectomy, condom and withdrawal,” said Yi-Qun Gu, MD, of the National Research Institute for Family Planning in Beijing.
“Our study shows a male hormonal contraceptive regimen may be a potential, novel and workable alternative,” Gu added. Gu said this study is the largest multi-centre, male hormonal contraceptive efficacy clinical trial of an androgen preparation in the world.
Participants included 1,045 healthy fertile Chinese men aged 20-45 years. Each participant had fathered at least one child within the two years before the study and had a normal medical history. Their female partners were between 18 and 38 years of age and had normal reproductive function.
Researchers monthly injected men with 500 mg of a formulation of testosterone undecanoate in tea seed oil for thirty months. They found a cumulative contraceptive failure rate of 1.1% men in the 24-month efficacy phase. No serious adverse events were reported and reproductive function returned to normal in all but two participants.
“Despite the encouraging results, the long-term safety of this regimen requires more extensive testing with a focus on cardiovascular, prostate and behavioural safety,” said Gu.