SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Doctors at UC Davis are the latest group of medical researchers to take part in a National Institute of Health clinical study to find the next contraceptive for men.
“It’ll give men the opportunity to be an active participant in contraception with their partner other than just using condoms or getting a sterilization procedure,” Doctor Mitchell Creinin, Director of Family Planning at UC Davis Health, said.
The gel contraceptive works like a birth control pill, using a hormone to stop the testes from making sperm. It’s applied to the man’s shoulders. Dr. Creinin says it does stop the man from making testosterone.
“So for him to feel normal, we need to replace the testosterone,” Dr. Creinin said.
The two-year trial is looking for 12 couples who have been together for at least a year. Researchers are looking for men between the ages of 18 and 50. Women must be between the ages of 18 and 34 years and have regular menstrual cycles. Couples do not need to be UC Davis Health patients to participate.
“It’s a two-year process because there’s a phase where the man will use the product and make sure his sperm count gets down low enough to rely on the method,” Dr. Creinin said. “And then one-year time period where they’re using the gel as their method of contraception.”
The gel could possibly come with side effects like in a woman’s birth control pill, and that could worry some men.
“Yeah I mean, women have to deal with that all of the time if you’re using contraception. So just kind of get a little glimpse into our world,” a woman named Kristine said.
The general consensus from people CBS13 spoke to is that they are for this possible male birth control.
“And not to mention, the woman that I’m with, she won’t have to take birth control,” Raymont Stallworth said. “It’ll be on me and less stress on her body.”
Dr. Creinin said he isn’t too worried about recruiting couples who may have concerns about side effects or the possibility of a pregnancy. He feels there will be men and women eager to look for a new way to control what happens next.
“This is really a pivotal moment where men and women can come together and say, ‘We cannot only change things for ourselves but for a lot of our friends and people in the future,” Dr. Creinin said.
UC Davis said those couples who participate in the trial will receive up to $4,125.