Men's Reproductive Health: NICHD Research Goals

The ability to control one's own reproductive health includes not only avoiding reproductive and sexually transmitted diseases, but also the ability to have children at a time and manner that best ensures the future health of the child, the family, and the community.

NICHD research on contraception and birth control addresses a range of goals, from using advances in genetics to identify novel contraceptive leads, to identifying new strategies for improving contraception use. Some specific NICHD research goals related to male contraception include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Designing new nonhormonal contraceptive approaches that capitalize on the biology of the testes and epididymis
  • Increasing knowledge about the factors that control spermatogenesis to design specific compounds for male contraception
  • Analyzing long-term health effects, including effects on the prostate and on bone mass, of new agents for male contraception
  • Studying the sustained use of contraception and the reasons for discontinuation, inconsistent use, and method switching

The NICHD supports and conducts a wide range of research related to STDs. Research areas include:

  • Factors and behaviors that affect the risk of contracting or spreading STDs
  • Developing new interventions to prevent the spread of these conditions in vulnerable populations
  • Improving the understanding of the best ways to communicate with people about STDs and effective preventive measures
  • Clinical research to test prevention and treatment methods for STDs

Addressing issues related to infertility in both men and women is a central part of the NICHD mission. The Institute conducts and funds research on various aspects of infertility, including:

  • Causes of infertility
  • Therapies for treating infertility
  • Conditions and disorders that are associated with infertility
  • The economic impact of infertility and its treatments
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