"Many women can not use hormonal contraception and male contraceptive methods are limited to vasectomy and condoms", said Diana Blithe of NIH's Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
"This gel would be the first user-controlled method of contraception for men since the introduction of the condom", said Diana Blithe, chief of the contraceptive development program at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The NIH will recruit 420 couples to try out the gel as their only form of birth control - ultimately, for a whole year, if all goes according to plan. "We hope it will be an acceptable form of contraception that couples will want to use".
The rubber may be hitting the road if a new gel for men proves effective in preventing pregnancies.
Condom use still has added advantages of protection against sexually transmitted infections and thus has a market, other forms of contraceptives for males have been developed and failed over the years.
Stephanie Page, a medicine professor at the university, said on application, the gel would be absorbed through the skin to inhibit men from impregnating their partners. There is a misperception that men are not interested in, or are even afraid of, tools to control their own fertility. "This would be an option for them".
Currently, the only approved male contraceptives are condoms or vasectomies, surgical procedures to block sperm. Men will be put on the gel and will have their sperm levels monitored and will be monitored for side effects. The Council helped develop RU486, or mifepristone, a pill that can be used to end an early pregnancy.
The drug is formulated as a gel since testosterone is cleared too quickly from the body when it's taken as a pill.
According to scholars from the institution, the gel comprises segesterone acetate and testosterone created to reduce men's sperm production without reducing sexual drive or enjoyment. Elsewhere in the person's blood the hormones are replaced by testosterone.
But testosterone is also key to male physical features and sex drive, so the gel also delivers a dose of replacement hormone.
During this time their sperm levels will also be measured (for up to 16 weeks if necessary).
During this phase the couple would have just the gel contraceptive as the only method of contraception.
Results from the trial are expected in 2022.