New free MOOC from Adelaide Uni: Sex and Human Reproduction

University of Adelaide, June 2018

AdelaideX’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offer learners free to study university-level online courses on a variety of topics.  AdelaideX’s latest MOOC, Sex and Human Reproduction, will launch on Thursday 12 July and enrolments are now open. 

Led by Professor Mario Ricci (Adelaide Medical School), and made in collaboration with experts from the Robinson Research Institute, this five-week course will cover all things related to sex and reproduction – from puberty to menopause, to fertility and contraception. The course focuses on underlying human biology, common myths, and the latest medical advances.

What you’ll learn

  • Structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems
  • Regulation of reproductive processes and cycles
  • Common reproductive disorders
  • Methods of contraception and assisted reproduction
  • Real world application of cutting-edge research in reproductive medicine

This MOOC is free (with a $50 fee for a verified certificate if desired).

 

 

Sperm counts among western men have halved in last 40 years – study

The Guardian, Wednesday 26 July 2017 

Sperm counts among men have more than halved in the last 40 years, research suggests, although the drivers behind the decline remain unclear.

The latest findings reveal that between 1973 and 2011, the concentration of sperm in the ejaculate of men in western countries has fallen by an average of 1.4% a year, leading to an overall drop of just over 52%.

Little has been done to address the root of the issue, and sperm counts might also be an indicator of poorer health among men more generally.

New kind of male contraceptive faces biggest hurdle: drugmakers

The Age,  Published 

Doctors are on the cusp of launching the first new male contraceptive in more than a century. But rather than a Big Pharma lab, the breakthrough is emerging from a university start-up in the heart of rural India.

Years of human trials on the injectable, sperm-zapping product are coming to an end, and researchers are preparing to submit it for regulatory approval. Results so far show it’s safe, effective and easy to use – but gaining little traction with drugmakers.

Successful male contraceptive gel trial brings new form of birth control closer

Guardian, Tuesday 7 February 2017

A male contraceptive gel has been found to work reliably in a trial in primates, bringing the prospect of an alternative form of birth control for humans closer.

The product, called Vasalgel, is designed to be a reversible and less invasive form of vasectomy and in the latest study was 100% effective at preventing conception.

  • Read more of article here
  • Read full text of paper (open access) in the journal Basic and Clinical Andrology here 

Male contraceptive jab almost as effective as female pill, trial shows

Guardian, Friday 28 October 2016

A male contraceptive jab has been shown to be almost as effective as the female pill in a trial that could pave the way for men and women being able to share equal responsibility for birth control.

In the study, 350 men were given injections of hormones that were shown to dramatically lower their sperm count by “switching off” the male reproductive system. The drugs caused some unpleasant side-effects, however, meaning that the trial had to be halted early.

The findings are reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

 

Update on male contraceptive development

It Takes Two: How Men Fit into Expanding the Family Planning Method Mix

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange,  July 5, 2016 9:22 am

The terms “family planning” and “birth control” are synonymous with women’s health and associated with the struggle for equal rights and women’s liberation.  And while the advent of the pill and subsequent advances in contraceptive technology have had enormous implications for women’s health and agency over the last 60 years, male-controlled methods have been responsible for a substantial portion of prevented births for millennia.

Read more here

New Male Contraceptives: What’s in the Near-term Pipeline?

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange,  July 12, 2016 8:34 pm

Several groups are  researching novel methods of contraception for men from three angles:

  1. Hormonal contraceptives to suppress brain signals that direct the testes to make sperm
  2. Non-hormonal contraceptives that inhibit sperm production in the testes or their maturation prior to ejaculation, and
  3. Novel ways to plug the vas deferens.

Read more here

Genetic and Small Molecule Advances Bode Well for Male Contraceptive Development

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange, July 20, 2016 11:05 am

On the male side, only three viable methods of contraception have been developed over several millennia (withdrawal, the condom, and vasectomy). New research in hormonal contraception has led to current clinical trials in men; however, as in women, changes in hormone concentrations have adverse effects in men. Thus, to find a non-hormonal contraceptive for men or women would be a game changer.

Read more here

Making New Male Contraceptives a Reality

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange, July 29, 2016 4:05 pm

A steadfast and devoted group of non-industry scientists, clinicians and advocates—with a desire to bring new and innovative male contraceptive options to market—continues to move the idea forward.  Slow and steady progress is being made, but important challenges still need to be addressed before new male contraceptives become a reality.

Read more here