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What other names is Gossypol known by?

Coton Velu, Cotonnier Herbacé, Cottonseed Oil Extract, Extrait d'Huile de Coton, Gosipol, Gossypium herbaceum, Gossypium hirsutum, Karpasa.

What is Gossypol?

Gossypol is a substance that is found in the cotton plant. It is removed from the seeds and used for medicine.

Men take gossypol for birth control. Women take it for disorders of the uterus including endometriosis, abnormal bleeding, and cancer; as well as for ovarian cancer. Gossypol is also used for treating HIV/AIDS.

Sometimes women use gossypol cream or gel as birth control. It is applied to the inside of the vagina to kill sperm.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Male contraception (birth control), when taken by mouth. Taking gossypol by mouth seems to reduce sperm count and function in 60% to 100% of men. In 50% to 77% of men, sperm recover within 3-24 months after treatment is stopped. In about 10% of men, sperm counts remain very low for over 4.5 years. In some men, continual use of gossypol can cause permanent loss of the ability to father a child.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cancer. Early research suggests that taking gossypol by mouth does not help shrink tumors in people with advanced cancer.
  • Problems of the uterus (womb) and ovaries.
  • Killing sperm, when applied inside the vagina.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of gossypol for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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