• World-first trial for new male contraceptive

    A world-first trial for what is being called a “temporary vasectomy” is under way at Epworth Freemasons in Melbourne.

    The new long-lasting, non-permanent male contraceptive implant could be a game-changer for contraception and would mean the onus for preventing pregnancy is no longer solely up to women.

    The ADAM study involves a hydrogel being injected into the patient's vas deferens tubes to block sperm travelling from the testes, acting like a temporary vasectomy. 

    The hydrogel dissolves after about two years, and the procedure may then be repeated. 

    Lead researcher Professor Nathan Lawrentschuk said 25 men would receive the hydrogel during a day procedure, with four having already had the treatment.

    “The three-year study will investigate whether the hydrogel is successful as a non-permanent, long-lasting male contraceptive," Prof Lawrentschuk said. 

    “If it is successful it could be a game-changer, ensuring that contraception is a shared responsibility between couples.” 

    Prof Lawrentschuk, a specialist in urology, said he was surprised by the number of men who had registered interest their interest in the trial.

    “We opened up recruitment for this just on social media and the demand was so high we had to close the website down after two days,” he said. 

    “I was just incredibly fascinated by that. We had hundreds of men doing the screening, and we had to close it down.”

    He said the level of interest showed there was rising demand for more contraceptive options for men.

    “For example, some women after childbirth can’t have contraception for obvious reasons, but they may not want to have a child within a couple of years of having their previous one, and this would be a good option for them without them having to go on the pill,” Prof Lawrentschuk said.

    The men involved in the study will undergo regular health checks and provide semen samples for three years. 

    If the contraceptive implant is found to be effective, a major trial involving men in Australia and the United States will be conducted.

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