Male contraceptive goes on trial

For years women taking the contraceptive pill have borne the burden of family planning, but soon men could be asked to take responsibility.

A new male contraceptive that tricks the brain into shutting down sperm production is going on trial in the UK.

Volunteers will receive two injections containing the male sex hormone testosterone every two months.

A total of 60 couples in Manchester and 20 in Edinburgh will be taking part in the study, which will determine whether the drug is brought to the market.

So far, doctors claim it is effective in 99 per cent of cases and insist that it will not damage sperm count on the long-term.

However, as with female contraceptives like the pill and the injection, the male version will not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Professor Richard Anderson from the University of Edinburgh said the drug could appeal to committed couples who want to share responsibility for contraception.

However, even if the trials are successful, it could be some years before the jab is widely available.

Meanwhile, scientists have been working on a new emergency contraceptive pill that they claim will prevent unwanted pregnancies up to five days after unprotected sex.

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