Part of the show What is a Virus and How do Viruses Cause Disease - Stacey Efstathiou
28 male volunteers have recently tried out a new male contraceptive system developed by Dr. Richard Anderson, at Edinburgh University. He implanted one or two rods, containing a man-made hormone called Etonogestrel (a form of progesterone), into one of their arms. This hormone temporarily stops sperm and testosterone production. The men were also given artificial testosterone in the form of an implant in the abdomen or as an injection to maintain their extremely important sex drive. Out of the 28 volunteers, 11/14 in the one rod group produced no sperm and 13/14 in the 2 rod group produced no sperm. Dr. Anderson hopes that 3 rods may be 100% effective. No major side effects have been reported. The men like this idea as they don't have to remember to take a pill by mouth each day. The researchers are hoping to combine the implant with the testosterone ultimately. It is also thought that this idea may be useful in altering male hormones to reduce the chance of prostate cancer or for changing their behaviour.