Moving Toward the Male Pill?

Beyond condoms, male birth control may seem the stuff of contraceptive mythology. But research shows that men do want more birth control options—but the science is lagging, and getting new methods approved is a slog.

The potential risks involved in pregnancy mean regulators have been quicker to approve female contraceptive methods. And with the bevy of female birth control options, potential male options have stiff competition.

Nevertheless, a few options are in the pipeline. Out in front is a topical gel that blocks sperm production—that’s about 10 years out from hitting the shelves; a hormonal contraceptive pill is entering phase 2 clinical studies, and a nonsurgical vasectomy has shown promise in animal studies.


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