Background Testosterone (T) gel, administered transdermally in combination with injections of medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) every 3 months, results in effective suppression of spermatogenesis in 90% of men. There are few data available regarding the acceptability of male hormonal contraceptive regimens, and none to date have examined the use of daily gel for contraception in normal men. Therefore, we questioned subjects enrolled in a combination T-gel plus DMPA male contraceptive trial regarding the acceptability of T-gel for male contraception and the impact of the T-gel/DMPA regimen on sexual function and satisfaction during treatment.
Study Design Thirty-eight healthy men, ages 18 to 55, were treated with T-gel (100 mg daily) + DMPA (300 mg/3 months) for 24 weeks. Sexual function was assessed using a validated questionnaire at baseline, after 12 and 24 weeks of treatment, and 12 weeks into recovery. The overall acceptability of the method and attitudes regarding the daily self-administration of T-gel were assessed by a questionnaire 12 weeks into recovery.
Results Fifty percent of subjects were either satisfied or very satisfied with the T-gel-based contraceptive regimen, and 45% indicated that they would use the regimen if it were commercially available. The T-gel was found to be easy to use by 76% of men, but a third of subjects felt that T-gel administration interfered with their daily routine. Sexual function was largely preserved during treatment; however, slight decreases in sexual function were observed during recovery.
Conclusions The experimental male hormonal contraceptive regimen of T-gel + DMPA is acceptable to approximately half of study volunteers, most of whom would use the method if it were commercially available. Given its appeal to a significant proportion of men, additional studies using T-gel and DMPA for male contraception are warranted.
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