Wednesday September 19, 2018

Injectable Male Contraceptive likely to Lower Unwanted Pregnancies

The contraceptive drug for men is a combination of the male hormone testosterone, which can significantly lower the sperm count

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Unwanted Pregnancies
Injection materials are pictured. VOA (Representational image)
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  • An injectable male contraceptive is in development and it would join condoms, withdrawal and vasectomies as an option for men to use to prevent their partners from becoming pregnant
  • It involves a series of injections over several months before the sperm count drops enough to prevent pregnancy
  • Despite the side effects, researchers report that 75 percent of men in the study said they would continue to use the new male contraceptive

October 28, 2016: Although it is still a long way off, an injectable male contraceptive is in development. It would join condoms, withdrawal and vasectomies as an option for men to use to prevent their partners from becoming pregnant. Currently, pregnancy prevention methods typically focus on the woman. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 40 percent of all pregnancies in 2012 were unintended.

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The injectable male contraceptive – which is a reported 96 percent effective – was developed and tested by a research arm of the World Health Organization and the East Virginia Medical School in the United States. A year-long study was carried out at ten centers in seven countries, including the U.S., Australia, Indonesia, Chile, Germany and India.
News of the experimental drug is being reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Mario Festin, a medical officer with WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research in Geneva, said the male contraceptive trial was what scientists call a proof-of-concept. “This hormonal combination of testosterone with the progestin or any other hormone that could facilitate the sustenance of the low sperm counts can actually lead to a level of sperm count that could be considered as contraceptive. And it could be done.”

The contraceptive drug for men is a combination of the male hormone testosterone, which significantly lowered the sperm count, and progestogen, a hormone in both sexes that in the men sustained the cessation of sperm production.

The drug suppresses the production of sperm to the point where pregnancy is unlikely. It involves a series of injections over several months before the sperm count drops enough to prevent pregnancy. The shots have to be given every two months to remain effective.

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In the trial involving 320 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 45, the shots caused a variety of unpleasant side effects because of the high hormone levels required to prevent pregnancy. Those included acne, depression, increased libido and pain at the injection site. Festin said depression and increased libido in particular caused problems among partners.

The WHO’s review board, which monitored how the experiment was going, stopped the trial, but allowed researchers to continue to follow the men. Within one year, almost all of the men’s sperm counts returned to normal.

Festin says the male contraceptive injection has to be tweaked before it can go on the market. “So there are other groups that are studying other hormone combinations or other hormone preparations which more or less follow the same study methodology and the same concept of a testosterone and a progestin.”

Jamin Brambhatt, a urologist at Orlando Health Regional Medical System in Florida, said it’s time for an injectable male contraceptive, like the one that’s just been tested.

“Hopefully that will inspire someone to think of something or get a pharmaceutical company or researchers to think above and beyond and find something because there’s definitely a need. You know … a majority of the burden right now is on the female. So for us, as guys, to take a small share of that or more of a share of that onto us, I think would definitely help the overall system.”

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Despite the side effects, researchers report 75 percent of men in the study said they would continue to use the new male contraceptive. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google's new tool can help you make our planet healthy. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?