Prototype male pills, 2001.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm

Prototype male pills, 2001.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Following succesful trials of the male contraceptive pill at Edinburgh University, the Dutch pharmaceutical company Organon decided to complete wider trials of their own. Their 'pill' is made up of a daily pill and a monthly testosterone injection, which is needed because the pill stops the production of both sperm and testosterone. Testosterone cannot be taken orally as a tablet as it would either be destroyed by the stomach (if the dosage was too small), or risk damaging the liver (if the dosage was too large).

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