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Sexually active? On the pill? Or use another form of contraceptive?

Ever wish you didn’t have to bother?

If the answer is yes, chances are you’re not alone. But, unless you’re keen to experience the symptoms of pregnancy, for now it’s your only option.

Or is it?

The good news is that for those of you who have considered coming off the contraceptive pill, there could soon be an alternative. And, for once, it doesn’t involve you having to do anything.

News around a male contraceptive pill has been flying around for years. But, whereas in the past, its integrity has been questioned, findings from the latest clinical trial show it could (finally) be taking positive steps towards an actual public release.

The trial, carried out by the University of Washington Medical Centre, found that a 400mg dose of the drug – called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, for short – resulted in, not only suppressed levels of testosterone, but also two other hormones required for sperm production.

In the past, male contraceptive pills have failed because of the faster rate at which men metabolise hormones, but DMAU, which includes long-chain fatty acids that slow down hormone clearance, would appear to overcome this hurdle. Well, it definitely worked on the 83 men involved in the trial. Better still? Then men only needed to take one tablet a day, with food, putting it on par with female contraceptives.

Okay, there were some side effects – weight gain and a reduction in good cholesterol. But kidney and liver function remained unaffected.

It comes at a time when word of another male contraceptive, being developed by Monash University in Melbourne, has hit the headlines, this one working to block sperm release from the penis during ejaculation.

Could the contraceptive baton be about to be passed over to men once and for all? Watch this space.

Worried about the impact hormonal contraception is having on you? You might want to ask “What is Kyleena”. This new generation contraceptive contains 20 times less hormone that the lowest-dose pill – but has the same 99% success rate.

Alternatively, a 100% hormone-free period tracker such as Natural Cycles could be for you.

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