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'Groundbreaking' male contraception trial needs volunteers

The trial will see men rub a gel on their upper-arms in place of other contraceptives.

Contraception: A gel is being trialled.
Contraception: A gel is being trialled. Getty

A contraceptive treatment for men is being put to the test and researchers are seeking couples in Edinburgh to take part in the groundbreaking study.

Scientists are looking for people willing to try a new contraceptive gel that has been developed as part of a major international project.

As many women can experience uncomfortable side effects from traditional contraceptives like the pill, researchers have been looking for an alternative.

The trial will see male volunteers self-administer a gel to their shoulders and upper-arms.

The idea came from testosterone gels traditionally used in the US to treat men with low testosterone levels.

Professor Richard Anderson, of the University of Edinburgh's MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, said: "Previous trials have shown that hormonal contraception for men can be safe and effective.

"This trial allows men to self-administer a gel, which may be much more convenient and acceptable than needing repeated injections, as was the case with previous trials."

Men aged between 18 and 50 who are in a stable relationship with a woman aged between 18 and 34 are invited to be part of the study.

The two-year trial will require them to use the gel as their sole method of birth control, with the men taking part attending at monthly clinics to monitor sperm production.

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