Male Birth Control Pill Appears to be On Its Way
If it works in mice, scientists think that it can work in men as well. A new drug called JQ1 has been found to cut down the sperm count in mice, according to a new study. Also, just like the female birth control pill, the drop in fertility was reversible.
This work is a ground-breaking step toward the development of a birth control pill for men.
“We have only observed full recovery of fertility in treated males,” according to researchers from Baylor College of Medicine as published in journal Cell. “We envision that our discoveries can be completely translated to men, providing a novel and efficacious strategy for a male contraceptive.”
JQ1 stops sperm production in the testes, which keeps the little critters from fertilizing anyone’s eggs. The drug has also been found to be safe in humans. This is a huge step when it has been found that as many of a third of all pregnancies are unintended and millions of children are abandoned by parents without the ability or desire to care for them.
Doctors say that some men may not be receptive to having their sperm count reduced.
“Sperm-making is a pretty delicate thing, and people do seem to have a concept of that,” Dr. Joseph Alukal, director of male reproductive health at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, told ABCNews.com. “How long did it take for women to get comfortable with the reversibility of the birth control pill? I’m not sure.”
The doctor does think that relative to other options, some men may be more than happy to take a pill to keep from having babies when they aren’t ready.
“If you look at vasectomy, there are plenty of men in committed relationships who choose to take onus of reproductive planning on themselves,” Alukal said. “I think the same sorts of people would choose to look into something like this.”
For those who get too excited about the study, please remember that this has nothing to do with reducing the rate of STD infection. So, when sleeping with someone you’re not sure to be 100% safe, you probably still need to wrap it up. But is anyone safe these days? A lot of people are catching STDs from their spouses.
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