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News: update on male contraception
1.) In 2016, unmet family planning needs remain a global issue. The 2012 London Summit on Family Planning called for innovative solutions for increasing contraceptive access for 120 million women by 2020. Equally important is the development of reliable, reversible and affordable male contraceptives which can be used by millions of sexually active men to allow men to participate in family planning and enhance reproductive health of the couple. Our goal is to help bring to market at least one reliable, reversible and affordable male contraceptive by 2026. While male contraception will not replace female contraception it will improve options to meet couple needs.
2.) At present male contraception is limited to withdrawal, abstinence, condom use and vas occlusion. However, research has shown that both men and their female partners are willing to use novel methods, including hormonal contraception, provided it is effective, reversible and well tolerated.
3.) The approaches to male contraception offered by hormonal methods, based on androgens alone or in combination with progestins, are closest to reaching the market. Clinical trials have demonstrated their effectiveness and acceptability by both partners. Researchers targeting differentiation of germ cells, maturation of sperm, or factors inhibiting sperm motility and function, have identified promising targets for non-hormonal male contraception, and clinical data may become available for some of them during the current decade. Developing methods with additional health benefits may increase acceptability and possibly lead to increased use and improved compliance. Also, several novel mechanical approaches to vas occlusion are being developed, one of which might eventually result in a reversible vasectomy.
4.) The pharmaceutical industry has deserted the field of research in male contraception, partly because of unclear registration requirements and partly because of a perceived lack of acceptability and profitability. Only government, academic and philanthropic non-profit research organizations are continuing research in this area.
5.) The authors of the Paris Manifesto urge the pharmaceutical industry and health agencies to become actively involved in the development of male contraceptives. We urge them to join advocacy groups and other stakeholders, as was the case in the development of the first contraceptive pill for women. We appeal to women’s health groups and male health advocates to demand from industry and politicians an active involvement in male contraception. History of the female pill shows that public advocacy led to scientific discovery and success.
6.) The Paris Manifesto follows the Weimar Manifesto signed by several of the current authors on June 29, 1997 at a Summit Meeting on Male Contraception in Germany. Since then new technologies have made it possible to consider a range of new approaches to male contraception. Now is the time for the pharmaceutical industry, philanthropists and other stakeholders to increase their support for the development of novel methods for men as a high priority on the research agenda for global health, ecologic improvements and economic prosperity.
David Serfaty, Founder and Coordinator of the ICMC, Paris, France; Regine Sitruk-Ware, Population Council; USA; Eberhard Nieschlag, University of Münster, Germany;
and approved by the Faculty Panel:
Richard A. Anderson, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, UK; Hermann M. Behre, Martin-Luther-University, Halle, Germany; Philippe Bouchard, University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France; William J. Bremner, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; Kristina Gemzell Danielsson, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Martin M. Matzuk, USA; Maria-Cristina Meriggiola, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; Stephanie T Page, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; Nicholas L. Simmons, Baylor College of Medicine, TX, USA; David C. Sokal, Male Contraception Initiative, USA; Ronald Swerdloff, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Los Angeles, USA; John Townsend, Population Council, USA; Christina Wang, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Los Angeles, USA; Frederick Wu, University of Manchester, UK