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Minerva Ginecologica 2016 February;68(1):78-89

lingua: Inglese

Hot issues in female and male hormonal contraception

Giulia GAVA, Claudia LANTADILLA, Valentina MARTELLI, Anna FATTORINI, Renato SERACCHIOLI, Maria C. MERIGGIOLA

Gynecology and Physiopathology of Human Reproduction, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


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In recent years a number of significant developments in the field of female hormonal contraception have been made which have produced new formulations and delivery systems providing high efficacy, safety and important non-contraceptive benefits. In particular long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) formulations have been demonstrated to ensure extremely high efficacy in typical use, minimal contraindications, optimal safety in all women thereby representing the best option for most women of all ages. Their effectiveness is not reliant upon user adherence and their ability to reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions has been proven. Unfortunately the same considerations cannot be made for male hormonal contraception. Although a large number of men are interested and would welcome the opportunity to use male contraceptive methods, no safe, effective and reversible methods are available on the market. Current methods available for men are limited to condoms and vasectomy. Highly effective prototype regimens have been developed but the pharmaceutical industry is unwilling to pursue further development and market these products. Of all new approaches to male contraception, hormonal methods are the closest to clinical application. These are based on the reversible suppression of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone with subsequent reversible inhibition of spermatogenesis and consequent replacement to maintain androgen dependent physiological functions. Most approaches tested combination regimens such as testosterone and a progestin or testosterone and a GnRH analog.

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cristina.meriggiola@unibo.it