How Far Off Is the Male Contraceptive Pill?
Apr 18 2019 Read 894 Times
In a move that could revolutionise birth control, a team of American scientists have successfully trialled a new contraceptive pill for men. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and explain how the Phase 1 study actively changed male hormones and triggered a drop in sperm production that would effectively eliminate the chance of egg fertilisation.
Safe, reliable and sperm-curbing
Marketed as safe and reliable, scientists claim the pill started working within a month. In addition to successfully curbing sperm production it also induced very few side effects. Libidos remained unchanged, while hormone levels and sperm production rates returned to normal after stopping treatment.
“Our results suggest that this pill, which combines two hormonal activities in one, will decrease sperm production while preserving libido," explains Christina Wang, a scientist at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute and Harbor UCLA Medical Centre. "Safe, reversible hormonal male contraception should be available in about 10 years," she predicts.
A clever combination
Known as 11-beta-MNTDC, the male contraceptive pill used a modified form of testosterone to simulate the effects of androgen and progesterone, two key male hormones. Progesterone actively blocks the production of LH and FSH, a pair of hormones used by the testes to produce sperm and testosterone. Androgen is used to neutralise the synthetic drop in testosterone and keep the libido in check. The combination pill builds on another experimental male oral contraceptive pill called DMAU, which the team created last year.
The latest findings were promising, with 14 men taking a 200-milligram dose of 11-beta-MNTDC, 16 taking a 400-milligram dose and 10 given placebo capsules. After 28 days the drug triggered a change in levels of sperm-producing hormones, which suggests -beta-MNTDC could have potential as an effective form of male oral contraception.
Finding the perfect balance
Moving forward, co-author Professor Stephanie Page of the University of Washington School of Medicine says, "the goal is to find the compound that has the fewest side effects and is the most effective." She reveals the team is currently in the process of developing a second pair of oral contraceptive drugs that could fast-track the concept of male birth control to pharmacy shelves across the globe.
Want to know more about the latest scientific breakthroughs working to improve public health? Focussing on the search for new active components in pharmaceutical products, 'The importance of fine grinding for analysis within the life science industry' explores the benefits of using a centrifugal mill.
Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.
In this Issue Articles Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy 67th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics Chromatography Using Gas Chromatography for measuring atmo...
View all digital editions
Aug 25 2019 Kyoto, Japan
Aug 25 2019 San Diego, CA, USA
Sep 01 2019 Berlin, Germany
Sep 03 2019 Manchester, UK
Sep 04 2019 Chiba City, Japan