The system uses a combination of a pill containing the female hormone progesterone and a body patch that delivers the male hormone testosterone.
Volunteers taking part in the study by scientists at Manchester Royal Infirmary were divided into three groups given low, medium and high doses of progesterone.
A total of 66 per cent of the men in the high-dose group and 60 per cent of those in the medium-dose group produced no active sperm after three months. When they stopped taking the pill, sperm counts gradually returned to normal.
The researchers unveiled their findings yesterday at the annual meeting of the British Endocrine Society in Bournemouth. While acknowledging that the method needed to be made more reliable, they said they hoped that it would lead to the first practical male contraceptive.Reuse content