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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2007 June;59(3):299-310

language: English

Current status and future perspecives in male contraception

Costantino A., Cerpolini S., Perrone A. M., Ghi T., Pelusi C., Pelusi G., Meriggiola M. C.

First Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, S. Orsola Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


Contraception is a crucial human right for its role on health, development and quality of life. Since the introduction of hormonal female contraception the burden of family planning has fallen mostly on women. The few methods of family planning available for men - namely condoms, vasectomy, periodic abstinence and withdrawal - are hundred year old in concept, are based on preindustrial practices and have low efficacy or are difficult to reverse. In spite of the shortcomings of currently available male contraceptives, 1/3 of the couples that use contraception worldwide rely on male methods suggesting that development of a safe, effective, reversible and affordable contraceptive method for men would meet a critical need. Recent surveys have shown that men want to know more about reproductive health and want to support their partner more actively. In recent decades, there have been exceptional advances in the development of safer and more effective contraceptives. Currently, several methods of contraception for men are under development. This paper summarises the efforts performed over the past decades to develop an effective, safe and reversible male contraceptive.

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