Up until now, contraception methods focused primarily around women. But now, research done at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor - UCLA Medical Center holds a reversible birth control option for men. It's basically like a lotion you apply on your skin.
In fact, it's a combination of gels, applied through skin, and the secret is combining the male hormone testosterone with a synthetic progestin called Nestorone. It reduces male sperm production dramatically and research led by Christine Wang says that very low sperm counts resulted for about 89% of men who used the new combination of hormones.
Testosterone and progestin were used before in male contraceptives, but these treatments were previously adminstered through progestin pills, implants or injections at clinics. With gels, it can be applied at home, and is much more convenient.
Progestin increases the contraceptive effectiveness of testosterone, and when applied together, they turn off the production of reproductive hormones controlling the production of sperm. Nestorone has no androgenic (male hormone) activity, which can cause side effects as acne and changes in good and bad cholesterol.
Researchers found that 89% of men obtained sperm concentration of less than 1 million sperm per milliliter, a level described as being "compatible with very low pregnancy rates".
Still, the numbers are far from perfect and far from the effectiveness of contraception for women who take birth control pills. Women who are on the pill experience pregnancy at rates of 0.3% per year. The contraceptive gels, on the other hand, are still resulting in unacceptably high sperm production for about 10% of males, which clearly poses a pregnancy risk.