Kenyan men to take part in male birth control gel trial
Kenyan men will join their colleagues from five other countries across the world to take part in a research that seeks to test the effectiveness of a contraceptive gel that could prevent production of sperms.
According to the news website Huffpost, the clinical trial on 400 men will begin in April and run for about four years.
The gel has been developed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the US National Institutes of Health.
The research is part of global effort to find a hormonal form of birth control for men.
Currently, the most effective options men have for birth control are condoms or vasectomy.
The new gel contains two synthetic hormones, testosterone and a form of progestin. Progestin blocks the testes from making enough testosterone to produce normal levels of sperm.
The gel can suppress sperm levels for about 72 hours – meaning that a man cannot be able to impregnate a woman for three days after application of the gel.
“Each male participant will use the gel for a minimum of four months and their sperm levels will be monitored by researchers,” said says Diana Blithe, program director for contraception development at the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Apart from Kenyans, other men who will take part in the study will be picked from US, the UK, Italy, Sweden and Chile.
“Men in the trial will take home a pump bottle of the gel and rub about half a teaspoon of it on their upper arms and shoulders every day. The gel dries within a minute,” says Blithe.