The search for contraceptives for men has advanced slowly since the Italian doctor Gabriello Fallopio, who discovered the Fallopian tubes, recorded in 1564 that men used condoms made of thin linen sheets soaked in chemicals and tied on with a ribbon to protect against syphilis.1 Even today, male contraception remains crude – predominately condoms, coitus interruptus and vasectomies – compared to the subtle endocrine manipulations used in female pills.
But that has not stopped researchers looking for a male contraceptive pill – and there have been several false starts. For example, in 1972, Nature reported that a male pill 'was not far off'.2 Forty-three years later, we are still waiting. Now, however, a male pill could really be just around the corner.
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