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Male contraceptive study expanded

Trials of a new male contraceptive are being expanded in the US after overwhelming initial interest.

Men have been eager to test the device which is designed as an alternative to surgical vasectomy.

The Intra Vas Device or IVD, inserted via a small hole made in the scrotum, is a tiny silicone plug that blocks the tube sperm travel along in the body.

In a pilot study involving 30 men the IVD was effective. Studies in monkeys also showed it was reversible.

"Men want to control their own destinies" Elaine Lissner of the Male Contraception Information Project

Extensive tests are now needed to check the same would be true in men using the device for years rather than months.

Traditional vasectomy - where the two vas deferens tubes connecting the testicles and the penis are cut - can be reversed in some men to restore fertility, but it is designed to be a permanent contraceptive.

Elaine Lissner, from the non-profit US organisation Male Contraception Information Project in San Francisco, said: "It is a lot easier to pull the plugs out than to find the best, most expensive micro-surgeon to sew a vas deferens back together.

"But we know that in vasectomy, even if you can get sperm flowing again, the chances of pregnancy go down by about 10% for each year the man had the vasectomy. Only time will tell if it's the same for IVD."

There are many contraceptive choices available to couples, but currently only really two that rely on the man - condoms and vasectomy.

Ms ... continue > 

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Published: 9 October 2006      Ref: BBC News


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