First Male Contraceptive Gel to Be Studied in the UK

Female Scientist Analyzes Liquid in the Beaker and Types Down Observations on Her Computer. She's Working in a Busy Laboratory Full of Scientists Conducting Experiments.

Couples in Edinburgh and Manchester are participating in an intimate clinical trial by literally testing a new contraceptive. 

James Owers has been using the gel since February 2019 and has experienced very few side effects thus far—some acne on the back and slight weight gain. The gel is made up of a combination of synthetic versions of the sex hormones progesterone and testosterone. The progesterone stops sperm being produced in the testes, which lowers natural testosterone, so its added to the gel as well. 

Mr. Owers discussed the stud with the BBC and actually looked quite pleased for the interview. Men actually rub it in the chest and shoulders as an easy alternative to a contraceptive pill.

The Study

The clinical trial has started in Edinburgh and Manchester in the UK involving 450 couples who are required to use the gel as their main form of contraception for 12 months.

Participant Owers said men traditionally can only choose between using condoms or having a vasectomy, which isn’t ideal if you want kids in the future. It should be noted the recorded failure rate of condoms is 17 he quoted.

The Lead Research/Investigator

Cheryl Fitzgerald, a consultant gynecologist at Saint Mary’s Hospital, and the study lead noted that she believed the contraceptive gel trial is an important step toward men controlling their fertility in a safe and simple way. She quoted to Sky News that “men need to have a choice.”