Medical scientists are headed for a breakthrough in male contraception following a series of successful tests carried out on mice, which stopped them from impregnating their female counterparts.
A team of scientists have created a male birth control pill found to be 99 per cent effective in the prevention of pregnancy without adverse side effects, according to the information presented to the American Chemical Society’s spring meeting on Wednesday.
While options such as intrauterine devices (IUDs), contraceptive pills, patches are available to women who do not want pregnancy, men have been limited to condoms and an irreversible vasectomy.
The male birth control pill will enable men to share the burden of contraception with their partners without causing permanent damage.
Presenting the results of the successful mice tests to the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Wednesday, the scientists disclosed they would begin human trials in the third or fourth quarter of 2022.
“Scientists have been trying for decades to develop an effective male oral contraceptive, but there are still no approved pills on the market,” said Abdullah Al Noman, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, while presenting the data to ACS.
Noting that female pills target the hormones to cause a disruption in the menstrual cycle, a male equivalent targets the male hormone (testosterone), with adverse side effects including weight gain, depression, and increased cholesterol levels in men.
Devising a new method with reduced risks, Mr Noman developed a non-hormonal pill, YCT529, to temporarily attack sperm cells in males.
“We wanted to develop a non-hormonal male contraceptive to avoid these side effects,” explained Mr Noman.
When YCT529 was administered to mice, they were no longer able to father offspring, earning the pill a whopping 99 per cent chance of preventing pregnancy.
Four to six weeks after being taken off the pill, the mice were again able to father mouse pups.
The new pill may pacify agitators clamouring for effective male contraceptives, asserting that a woman can get pregnant only once in nine months while a man can impregnate many women within nine months.