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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 November, 2003, 12:50 GMT
Male contraceptive trial
The implant tricks the body into stopping the production of sperm
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh want to recruit a group of men to help try out a ground-breaking new contraceptive.

The invention is a hormone implant which tricks the body into stopping the production of sperm.

The teams want three dozen male volunteers to use the new contraceptive in a year-long trial.

The implants last for 12 months, unlike insertions in previous trials which have had to be replaced every two or three months.

Healthy volunteers

They use a combination of hormones - testosterone and progestin implants - similar to the mix used in a recent successful Australian study.

Testosterone implants trick men's bodies into thinking their testes have made enough testosterone and switch off production of the hormone and sperm.

Progestin, which is found in men's bodies but only in very small amounts, acts as a sperm suppressant.

The scientists in Edinburgh are looking for healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 50.

Prevented pregnancies

The men must be able to travel to Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary once a month for the duration of the study, the experts said.

The methods used in the research will be similar to those used in an Australian study last month, which focused on 55 couples in Sydney.

The New South Wales scientists found that testosterone and progestin prevented pregnancies among all the couples over the 12-month period of the research.

Any volunteers interested in participating in the Scottish study can contact the Contraceptive Development Network at Edinburgh University on 0131 242 6360.

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