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Sexual Revolution: Big Advances Made In Male Birth Control

Pregnancy Prevention Falling More And More To Men; New Products On Horizon
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Sperm (Photo: CBS 2)

Maurice-DuBois-thumbnail Maurice DuBois
Award-winning journalist Maurice DuBois anchors CBS 2 News at 5 and 11...
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Since the birth control pill first hit the market more than 50 years ago dozens of other female contraceptives have come along behind it.

But there’s been nothing new for men.

Now, CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois has the first look at the innovative birth control options for men that may just revolutionize what goes on in the bedroom.

“It may be time for a change,” one New Yorker said.

“I would definitely be willing to try the options,” said another.

“I guess I would try it depending upon what it was and how invasive it was,” added another.

Some say it’s a sexual revolution — the birth control burden is shifting to men.

“What we’re seeing is that men are more interested than they were in both taking responsibility and sharing the risk associated with using a product,” said John Townsend, the director of reproductive health for the Population Council.

Now, scientists around the world are in a race to come up with new options for men.

“What we haven’t had are anything in between condoms and vasectomy,” Townsend said.

In addition to preventing pregnancies, condoms have worked especially well at protecting both men and women against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

“They’ve worked for over 10, 20, 30 years and they still work good today,” one person said.

The latest innovations include a male birth control gel — an implant, a shot, even a pill.

“There’s a demand for that,” Townsend said.

Inside a Manhattan lab scientists are working on some of this cutting edge male contraceptive research.

“What we’re working on right now is a set of implants called ‘Ment,’” Townsend said.

Doctors put a tiny silicone implant into the arm. It contains a synthetic steroid, like testosterone, that stops sperm production over time.

“They’re good for one year. They last one year at least,” chief researcher Dr. Narender Kumar said.

They’re also working on a hormone gel that causes sperm production to be interrupted. Experts say it’s difficult to develop male contraceptives without significant side effects.

“Reducing sperm production while maintaining those desirable features of masculinity, which has to do with muscle mass, libido, interest in sex,” Townsend said.

Other products in development around the world include:

* An injection that sabotages sperm so they can’t swim

* A pill that prevents sperm from maturing

* Doctors are using the heat from an ultrasound to halt sperm production

“It will take a while but it’s a while worth waiting for,” Townsend said.

These products are not currently on the market, but researchers say they’re in the final stages of development.

For more information on male contraceptives, click here, here and here.

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