The pill for men

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:47 pm
Several versions of a male contraceptive are currently being studied. The mechanisms used to inhibit fertility either suppresses sperm production by hormonal or nonhormonal means, or prevents the fertilizing ability of sperm. Hormonal contraceptives for men work by lowering sperm counts and usually come in the form of injections that last from three months to one year. In addition, men must receive the male sex hormone, testosterone (tess-TOSS-ter-oan), because the hormones used in the contraceptive inhibit its production. Several pharmaceutical agents and a vaccine are also being studied to to cause temporary sterility in men. In either methods, more testing remains to be done, and it could be many years before a male contraceptive is available. Male contraception also faces another challenge: acceptance. For these drugs to be successful, men must be willing to assume the cost and responsibility of taking them as directed.
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