The number one question we receive from readers is:
“So where can I get one of these male contraceptives?”
The only way to get access to most of these experimental male contraceptives is to participate in a clinical trial. Below is a list of all the medical centers which have tested or are currently testing potential male contraceptives.
How do I participate in a clinical trial?
Begin by contacting the medical center hosting a trial of a method you would like to try. Researchers are generally seeking men between 18 and 50 years of age who are in good overall health. The number and frequency of doctor visits you will be asked to make for the study vary depending on the method being tested. In general, clinical trials last from 6 to 18 months. If the trial is for contraceptive efficacy, you will be expected to forego the use of backup contraception during the data collection period; if it is a proof of concept or dose-finding study, you will expected to provide semen samples.
Trials currently or soon to be enrolling
University of Washington (Seattle) and the University of California, Los Angeles – Safety and Effectiveness of a Male Contraceptive Gel
This is Phase I clinical trial of testosterone gel plus a progestin gel. The study will test the safety and efficacy of different doses of these gels applied to the skin. Men enrolled in the study particpate for 24 weeks, or about 6 months.
World Health Organization – Male hormonal contraceptive as an injection every 2 months
This Phase II trial is enrolling men in 5 countries: Italy (Bologna), Chile (Santiago), the UK (Edinburgh and Manchester), Germany (Halle), and India (New Delhi). The purpose of this study is to measure the contraceptive efficacy of a combined testosterone plus progestin shot administered every 8 weeks. Once participants' sperm counts are low, they will be asked to use this male hormonal contraceptive as their primary form of birth control for 12 months.
Indian Council of Medical Research – RISUG
This Phase III trial of RISUG as a male contraceptive is enrolling men in 4 Indian cities: New Delhi, Udhampur, Jaipur, and Ludhiana. The purpose of the study is to test the contraceptive efficacy of RISUG in a large and varied group of men. After being given RISUG, volunteers will be asked to make regular follow up visits. The study is not open to foreigners; participants must live in the local area so they can make follow-up visits.
Clinical trial centers by method
This list shows the hospitals and clinics that have hosted clinical trials of male contraceptives in the past. If one of these centers is near you, practitioners there may be able to help point you to current trials.
Hormonal male contraceptives
- University of Washington Population Center for Research in Reproduction in Seattle, USA
- University of California Los Angeles Harbor Medical Center, USA
- Population Council in New York City, USA
- University of Muenster Hospital’s Institute of Reproductive Medicine, Germany
- University of Bologna Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Italy
- University of Manchester School of Medicine, UK
- University of Edinburgh Contraceptive Development Network, UK
- Institute of Reproductive Medicine in Santiago, Chile
- ProFamilia in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- ANZAC Research Institute in Concord, Australia
- Monash Medical Center Prince Henry Institute of Medical Research in Clayton, Australia
- Shanghai Institute for Planned Parenthood Research, China
- Jiangsu Family Planning Research Institute, China
- Schering AG Gynaecology and Andrology Division in Berlin, Germany
- NV Organon International
- Hospitals in the Indian Council of Medical Research clinical trials network in New Delhi, Udhampur, Jaipur, Ludhiana, and Kharagpur, India
Intra Vas Device
I don’t live near any of the clinical trial centers. What can I do?
You may decide to take your fertility into your own hands by experimenting with heat methods or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. If you decide to experiment on yourself, know that no one but you will be liable for contraceptive failures or irreversible infertility. There are other websites which provide accounts of men’s experiences with such undertakings. Educate yourself thoroughly about the risks and unpredictability of your experimentation.
If you decide to use a heat method, you can assess its effectiveness using a semen analysis which includes motility tests. You can expect each set of tests to cost as much as $275 at your local clinic. An over-the-counter semen analysis test, SpermCheck Vasectomy, is now available for home use for $35 plus shipping per test. SpermCheck Vasectomy is the only available over-the-counter sperm count kit that provides enough information to determine if a heat method is working or not.
Of the pharmaceutical methods one could try at home, e.g. Tripterygium, there is no practical way to measure whether or not they are working. They do not affect the quantity of sperm production or the sperm motility, factors which are measured in standard sperm tests. Much more complicated and expensive tests would be required to determine whether they are working.
If you do not have access to a clinical trial and experimenting at home is not for you, take political action to help bring new male contraceptives to market.