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Contraception

An electron microscope image of the fabric, complete with blocked sperm

While condoms are the only things that protect against both unwanted pregnancies and HIV, a lot of people aren’t big fans of stopping to put them on. Additionally, women are sometimes put in an awkward role, needing to pressure the man to use the thing – although female condoms certainly do exist, their bulkiness makes them rather unpopular. Now, however, a team of scientists from the University of Washington are working on a type of dissolvable fabric that could be used by women both for contraception and HIV protection.  Read More

The One-Handed Condom was designed as an easy-open contraceptive for people with partial p...

Safe sex and contraception are awkward subjects for many people, especially when it comes time to actually use them. In a moment that's all about maintaining the mood, nothing can spoil the romance like struggling to pry open a condom wrapper like a bag of airline peanuts. With that in mind, imagine what a minefield a night of intimacy could be for someone suffering from hemiplegia, a somewhat common disorder that causes paralysis on one side of the body. That's why one designer developed the One-Handed Condom, an easy-open contraceptive that can be flicked open just by snapping it between two fingers.  Read More

Researchers have found a compound that could be used to create a contraceptive pill for me...

The approval of the combined oral contraceptive pill (or “the Pill”) in the 1960s ushered in a sexual revolution as women gained unprecedented control over their reproductive capabilities. But despite much research, the development of a male contraceptive pill has proven more elusive. Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Baylor College of Medicine have now discovered that a small molecule compound can produce reversible birth control in mice, thereby showing promise as a lead compound for the development of a reversible male contraceptive.  Read More

Scientists have successfully reduced the sperm counts of male rats to zero using widely-av...

Using commercially-available ultrasound technology, scientists have successfully reduced sperm count in rats to a level that would cause infertility in men. Researchers managed to reduce motile sperm to 3 million per cauda epididymis (where sperm are stored), which equates to a Sperm Count Index of zero, measured two weeks after treatment. The research could re-open the door to the investigation of ultrasonic techniques as a practical human contraceptive.  Read More

Researchers are developing a birth control pill for men (Generic pill image: Alina Zienowi...

Following this week's coverage of the reversible male contraception method, it appears that a birth control pill for men is also in the works. Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center are developing what may be the first non-steroidal, oral contraceptive for men. The team of scientists, led by Dr. Debra J. Wolgemuth, discovered that low doses of a compound that interferes with retinoic acid receptors (RARs), stopped sperm production with no apparent side effects. In addition, just like the birth control pill for women, normal levels of fertility could be restored almost immediately after the dose has been ceased.  Read More

Inexpensive to manufacture and simple to administer, RISUG could offer a cost effective bi...

A promising new birth control method for men that's more easily reversible than vasectomy has been developed in India. Called RISUG (Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance or Vasalgel in the U.S) the method is claimed to be 100 percent effective in trials, doesn't contain controversial hormone therapy and it lasts a minimum of 10 years.  Read More

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