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?
- Robot Tongue Identifies The Correct Beer Every Time
- Satellites Catch Birth Of Two Volcanic Islands In Yemen
- Brain-Computer Interface Makes Communication For Kids With Cerebral Palsy Easier
- Mystery Of Morgellons - Disease Or Delusion - Scientific Hypothesis Of Connection With Lyme Disease
- Why Does The Public Worry About GM Foods But Embrace Biotech Medicine?
- Blue Buffalo Admits Its Pet Food Contains The Poultry Byproduct It Ridicules In Competitors
- Editorial Independence Or Extortion? Frontiers Sacks 31 Editors
- "That also has not happened. The only lawsuit was when a farmer intentionally bought seed that was..."
- "Finally some reason Fred! The same with Global Warming. I realise there are billions of animals..."
- "Nuclear power is deadly, million of cancers using LNT. Nuclear power has only 5 years of proven..."
- "Well the article you posted just sounded like it was about something else. Starts off: Advocacy..."
- "And I haven't seen any suggestion of malpractice, or that their work is financially motivated,..."