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A dollop of transparent gel sits on a blue-grey texture. Light reflects through the gel and casts a shadow.

The future of contraception?

A new investigational product may open the door to male hormonal birth control.
Filed Under
Written by
Amy Roeder
Photography by
Kent Dayton
Published
February 14, 2023
Read Time
1 min
Featured In
Winter 2023

For decades, women have borne the burden of hormonal birth control—and the side effects that often go with it. Now, a new investigational product may offer couples an alternative. NES/T is a gel that men simply rub on their shoulders in the morning. It combines a progestin hormone to reduce sperm production with testosterone to maintain sexual drive and enjoyment. A phase II clinical trial launched in 2018 and is expected to reach its conclusion in 2023. Participating couples quoted in a 2022 Cosmopolitan article gave it high marks for effectiveness and user-friendliness. Stephanie Page, a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and principal investigator at the UW study site, said, “We hope that results from this trial will help pave the way for renewed interest in male contraceptive development and propel this important public health work forward.”

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Contributors
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Amy Roeder
Amy Roeder is a senior editor at Harvard Public Health. Read more from Amy Roeder.
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Kent Dayton
Kent Dayton is the senior photo editor and staff photographer at Harvard Public Health.
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