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    Male pill: some reasons for cautious optimism.

    PROGRESS. 1988; (5):1, 6.

    Despite more than a decade of intense research effort, no acceptable antifertility drug for men has been produced. No drug regimen has been able to completely suppress sperm in the ejaculate, and some men who have achieved azoospermia show a spontaneous return of sperm in the ejaculate. On the other hand, there is some evidence that the residual sperm produced by men whose sperm production is only partially suppressed are incapable of fertilizing ova. Preliminary results of research conducted by the World Health Organization's Special Program of Research, Development, and Research Training in Hum Reproduction indicate that an androgenic steroid administered in 200-mg doses at 21-day intervals induces azoospermia in 65% of male volunteers, moderately low levels of sperm in 11%, and severely low levels of sperm in 24%. Also encouraging is the finding that residual sperm in men who reach severely low levels of sperm production after treatment with depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate plus testosterone enanthate are functionally impaired when tested in the hamster oocyte penetration assay. If such results can be produced in field trials, the development of new, more effective drugs for the regulation of male fertility may be forthcoming. At the same time, a considerable amount of research remains to be done before a male fertility regulating pill will be available on the market.
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