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27 Jan, 2021 12:20

Win, win, win? Scientists claim new contraceptive gel enhances libido, prevents pregnancy and may stave off STDs

Win, win, win? Scientists claim new contraceptive gel enhances libido, prevents pregnancy and may stave off STDs

Researchers have created a new spermicidal, anti-viral and libido-enhancing contraceptive gel which boasts the holy trinity for sexual health. The scientists claim the gel improves both the “safety and quality” of sex.

Ke Cheng, a professor in regenerative medicine at North Carolina State University, led the research into the gel which reportedly yielded enhanced libido while preventing pregnancy in 100 percent of case studies when tested in a rat model. 

For comparison, commercially available contraceptive gels typically boast a maximum efficacy of 87 percent. 

“Our hope is that this trifunctional contraceptive gel could further enhance the safety and quality of sexual intercourse,” Cheng says.

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The gel deploys the contraceptive gossypol combined with the antiviral tenofovir with a dash of nitroglycerin thrown in to stimulate blood flow and enhance male rats’ libidios. 

Researchers first tested the concoction in vitro, and found that a 10 microgram per milliliter concentration of the contraceptive was capable of killing 100 percent of pig sperm introduced to the Petri dish within just 30 seconds. 

Lower concentrations also achieved 100 percent spermicide in 180 seconds, while also proving highly antiviral, reducing the transmission potential of sexually transmitted diseases to a significant degree.

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Importantly, the gel did not appear to damage vaginal cells contained within the Petri dish, when compared with untreated or control cells. 

As part of the study, 18 female rats were divided into three groups; one which was treated with the gel which had zero pregnancies, one that was treated with a commercially available contraceptive gel which had one pregnancy.

The team also examined the gel’s effects on male rats and found that treated rats mated more frequently and ‘recharged’ faster than untreated counterparts. 

In Cheng’s estimation, the gel “has great potential for improving the safety and quality of sexual intercourse,” but a lot more research is needed before it hits the shelves for human use.

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