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Male contraceptive jab researchers to begin testing

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Researchers from the University of Manchester and other global centres are asking men in stable relationships to test a new contraceptive injection.

The study into the hormonal form of birth control is being partially funded by the World Health Organisation, which is hoping to find more male contraceptive methods to match the plethora of options available to females.

In safety tests, mild side-effects from the contraception occurred in a small number of men. Researchers are looking for volunteers aged between 18 and 45 to be injected with testosterone, along with another hormone that has been proven to suppress sperm production.

The 60 couples based in Manchester, with 340 others around the globe, will receive up to four courses of injections over a six-month period. The male’s sperm count will be measured over this time to check that it is below fertility levels.

Couples will then be asked to use the injection as their only method of contraception for 12 months, with the man receiving a jab every eight weeks. At the end of the trial, the male’s sperm levels will be assessed to see how quickly they return to normal.

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