Monday June 25, 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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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)