Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


HEALTH Male Pill trials prove positive

A form of male Pill could be available in five years if the success of early trials is continued, researchers in Edinburgh said yesterday. Tests of 30 men in Edinburgh, using various doses, have shown that it appears to work, and appears to be safe.

The trials involve men receiving a testosterone implant, then taking a daily pill of the hormone desogestrel, a component of the female Pill. Testosterone can suppress sperm production in very high doses, but the use of the other hormone means smaller doses can be used.

The results of the Scottish trials will be presented tomoorrow at the annual meeting in Edinburgh of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

The work was carried out at Edinburgh University's Centre for Reproductive Biology, and similar research into male contraception is also being carried out at Manchester University.

Professor David Baird, of the Edinburgh centre, said: "I think it is technically possible, and I think if it is marketed some men and some couples will use it.

"But how long that will take will depend on whether pharmaceutical companies make the decision to take this sort of combination for product development."