Journal Article

Acceptability of a transdermal gel-based male hormonal contraceptive in a randomized controlled trial

Objective
Fifty percent of pregnancies in the United States are unintended despite numerous contraceptive methods available to women. The only male contraceptive methods, vasectomy and condoms, are used by 10% and 16% of couples, respectively. Prior studies have shown efficacy of male hormonal contraceptives in development, but few have evaluated patient acceptability and potential use if commercially available. The objective of this study is to determine if a transdermal gel-based male hormonal contraceptive regimen, containing testosterone and Nestorone® gels, would be acceptable to study participants as a primary contraceptive method.

Study Design
As part of a three-arm, 6-month, double-blind, randomized controlled trial of testosterone and nestorone gels at two academic medical centers, subjects completed a questionnaire to assess the acceptability of the regimen. Of the 99 men randomized, 79 provided data for analysis.

Results
Overall, 56% (44/79) of men were satisfied or extremely satisfied with this gel-based method of contraception, and 51% (40/79) reported that they would recommend this method to others. One third of subjects (26/79) reported that they would use this as their primary method of contraception if it were commercially available today. However, men with concerns about sexually transmitted disease were significantly less satisfied than men without such concerns (p=0.03).

Conclusions
A majority of the men who volunteered to participate in this trial of an experimental male hormonal contraceptive were satisfied with this transdermal male hormonal contraceptive. If commercially available, a combination of topical nesterone and testosterone gels could provide a reversible, effective method of contraception that is appealing to men.

Implications
A substantial portion of men report they would use this transdermal male contraceptive regimen if commercially available. This method would provide a novel, reversible method of contraception for men, whose current choices are limited to condoms and vasectomy.