Hormonal birth control and the indignities that go with it (mood-swings, acne, weight gain and other treats) have long been a burden that women have to bear, as idea after idea for male contraception has either failed to work or been dismissed by the oh-so-convincing argument that “men just won’t use that.”
Well, here’s one from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute that a) works pretty well and b) shouldn’t be too burdensome for dudes. Popular Science writes:
The breakthrough here is the introduction of a new synthetic progestin called Nestorone, which along with testosterone leads to dramatic reductions in sperm production that make pregnancy a far outside chance. Applied to the skin together through transdermal gels, testosterone and Nestorone produce significantly reduced sperm counts in roughly 89 percent of men.
It’s not 99 percent effective (but in practice few methods of birth control actually are). And while the words “reduced sperm counts” may scare of a few men, surely there are some out there who would temporarily sacrifice their sperm-making powers for a baby-free life?
More from Smithsonian.com: