Male contraception

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    With the powerful tools of molecular investigation, the last decade has witnessed the most remarkable scientific advance in our history, yet no new leads for male contraception have been forthcoming. All the likely methods of male contraception discussed above were derived from relatively 'old' physiological principles or serendipitous observations. The increasing gap between fundamental research (in the control of mammalian spermatogenesis) and the lack of clinical application are a testament to the low public funding priority afforded to male reproduction and the unwillingness of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in male reproductive research and development. Yet amidst such an unfavourable setting and with very limited support, it is heartening to note that the prospects of introducing a new systemic method for male contraception into the market by the end of this millenium has been greatly enhanced. Thus the results of recent studies have confirmed the contraceptive efficacy of sex steroid-induced oligozoospermia and unexpectedly revealed an ethnically distinct pattern of susceptibility to the hormonal suppression of spermatogenesis. Thus, Asian men are more responsive than are caucasian, and long-acting testosterone esters now being tested in that most densely populated part of the world may well hasten the large-scale application of this method. This is probably the most effective way to correct the misconceptions that men are unwilling or disinterested in sharing in family planning options with their partners. Together with the increased acceptance of novel non-surgical and reversible methods of vas deferens occlusion and the availability of improved non-latex condoms, the currently unfulfilled contraceptive needs of millions of men can be increasingly met in future years. The consequent increase in overall contraceptive prevalence could well make the telling difference between demographic catastrophe and maintaining good quality existence. Politicians, scientists and industrialists need to wake up to their responsibilities and the opportunities offered by this untapped resource and market potential.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-23
    Number of pages23
    JournalBaillieres Clin Obstet Gynaecol
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


    • Contraception/*methods
    • *Contraceptive Agents, Male
    • *Contraceptive Devices, Male
    • Humans
    • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System/physiology
    • Male
    • Research
    • Spermatogenesis/physiology
    • Testis/physiology
    • Vasectomy/*methods


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