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Fam Plann Perspect. 1971 Jul;3(3):17-21.

Beyond the laboratory: recent research advances in fertility regulation.



At least 9 basically new contraceptive approaches have reached human clinical testing and provide hope for effective and convenient contraception. Several of these methods involve continuous long-term hormonal drug treatment which has caused some anxiety over adverse side reactions. These include use of low-dose progestin in daily oral doses to prevent passage of spermatoza without necessarily inhibiting ovulation. A subdermal capsule implanted yearly could also be used. Other hormonal treatments include vaginal rings or intrauterine devices that would continuously release ovulation-inhibiting steroids. Intramuscular injection of such steroids is also being studied. Endometrial implantation can be inhibited by oral steroids or copper IUD's. Induction of menstruation by oral steroids or prostaglandins is also possible. Post coital use of diethylstilbestrol appears effective, and cytotoxic agents are being tested to aid surgical sterilization. In males, subdermal testosterone can be used to inhibit spermatogenesis or sperm maturation, and a method of surgical vaso-occlusion of sperm transports that can be reversible is being sought. The mechanical techniques and intermittent drug treatments may provide a contraceptive method without medical anxiety.

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