Update on Male Hormonal Contraception: Is the Vasectomy in Jeopardy?

GJ Manetti and SC Honig


Int J Impot Res. 2010;22(3):159-170. 

In This Article

Update on Male Hormonal Contraception: Is the Vasectomy in Jeopardy?

Male contraception has traditionally consisted of either barrier methods, such as condoms or vasectomy. Vasectomy is a permanent, expensive, surgical solution with very low failure rates of 1/2000.[1] Condoms are a less desirable option and with typical and ideal use results in a 14 and 3% yearly pregnancy rate, respectively. The ideal contraceptive would be 100% effective, reversible, noninvasive, affordable, with no short- or long-term side effects.

Men are more likely now than ever to participate in the choice of contraceptive techniques, although there are notable variations between population groups and cultures.[2] Furthermore, an international study involving 450 women also suggested that women would both trust and welcome their male partner to take a more active role in contraception.[3] Approximately half of all conceptions are unplanned, resulting in unintended pregnancies and subsequent elective terminations.[4] Therefore, it has become quite important to develop less invasive, more tolerable and more reversible methods of male contraception that have a success rate similar or better than female hormonal contraception. This review will discuss the current status and recent developments in male contraception, a field that has been historically limited by social, financial and physiological challenges.


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