Disorders of penis development are on the rise and we’re not sure why

By Mark Green and Andrew Pask

In prenatal ultrasounds or at delivery, many new parents look between their baby’s legs: the presence of a penis is taken as a strong sign that it’s a boy.

For humans and other animals, development of a penis was thought to be driven by “male hormones” (androgens) produced entirely by the testes of the male fetus as it grows in the uterus.

However, a new paper released today indicates this might not be the case.

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 

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