Want to avoid a baby mama without getting surgery or enduring condoms that are too small? Men may soon have the same choice as women when it comes to birth control.
A male contraceptive pill has been talked about for decades, but so far none has been successfully created despite strong demand. Recent surveys found that about 70 percent of men would be willing to take a birth control pill if it were available.
A new study says such a birth control pill for men, without side effects, may soon be ready. Working on mice, the team found that a compound called JQ1 acts as an inhibitor to sperm production and also sperm mobility.
"Both of these are needed for fertility, but JQ1 prevents both," said Qinglei Li, an assistant professor at Texas A&M College. "It stopped the sperm production very dramatically. More good news is that there appear to be no side effects whatsoever. Once the JQ1 was no longer given to the mice, they were back to their normal reproduction rates, and it did not affect mating behavior or the health of the offspring."
Though the mice were given injections, the team believes that a pill could eventually be developed for the same results. And one drawback to many female contraceptives is that they sometimes interfere with hormones, especially estrogen. But Li says the team is confident that JQ1 does not affect testosterone levels in men, and appears to have no other side effects as well.
The JQ1 compound seems to have come about by accident. It was originally used for anti-cancer treatments, but researchers found it was also an excellent compound in controlling fertility.
"This is an exciting step in male contraception," Li adds. "A compound with more specificity will be needed before clinical trials can be done for humans. It does not mean a male birth control just yet, but it is a great step forward in that direction."
The team was led by Martin Matzuk at Baylor College of Medicine and James Bradner at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who made the discovery. Published in Cell.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Why An Extra Planet Can't Be Hidden Behind The Sun Or Above The South Pole
- Lichen: Apparently Happy Couple Really A Threesome
- The Daily Physics Problem - 2
- People Estimate Their Own Abilities Based On Others' Performance
- The Daily Physics Problem - 1
- US Could Feed Twice As Many People - If Only Elites Eat Meat
- Hugh Hefner's Wife Was Not Poisoned By Breast Implants
- "You sir havent got a leg to stand on and should be ashamed of yourself you no its real deep down..."
- "Your information sir is well out of date do you think people have not seen this information before..."
- "Thank you for your long article. I did not read it all because it was too long. But I'm not sure..."
- "Sorry, Tommaso, but the kind of problems ...Consider all thinkable physics- and detector-related..."
- "Dear, sir you are obviously furiously trying to get your book out before you are branded a fraud..."
- Unusual new zoantharian species is the first described solitary species in over 100 years
- Scientists develop painless and inexpensive microneedle system to monitor drugs
- Parasite proteins prompt immune system to fight off ovarian tumors in mice
- Behavioral activation as effective as CBT for depression, at lower cost
- The Lancet: Simpler, cheaper psychological treatment as effective as cognitive behavioural therapy for treating depression