Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

Male birth control pill may soon be a reality, researchers say

Male birth control pill may soon be a reality, researchers say

The tests did not show whether taking the male birth control drug actually reduced sperm production to levels that would prevent pregnancy, but contraceptive effectiveness will be tested in another trial beginning in April, Fox News reported.

According to a report from the Telegraph, the pill contains a drug known as dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU), which differs from other similar drugs before it due to the inclusion of a long-chain fatty acid that allows it to metabolize at a slower pace, meaning it should only be taken once a day instead of twice.

Prototype tablets are more attractive to many men than long-acting injections or topical gels, prototype pills are a male contraceptive "Stephanie Page", a professor survey at the University of Washington in Seattle The investigator said in a statement.

While this research is not as far progressed as the new DMAU study, it highlights the variety of different tactics scientists are investigating to develop an elusive male contraceptive pill. Page explained that although the blood levels of the male hormones dipped, there were no symptoms of testosterone deficiency or excess.

Even though the researchers said they were "very excited" by the results, they haven't been testing it long enough to show whether it decreases sperm production, and they haven't shown whether it stops couples from conceiving. Five persons in each group received a placebo and 12 to 15 men received the DMAU pills. It is being developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health.

While some subjects on all doses had mild weight gain, DMAU appeared safe.

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More studies are needed to find if it would work effectively as a contraceptive. However, some experts who weren't involved in the study had some critical comments after the research was presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, ENDO 2018.

This recent study for a once-daily pill for men was carried out with groups in Washington and California. The team is starting that trial now that they've shown the drug is safe in the short term.

'DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily 'male pill, ' Dr Page said. DMAU must be taken with food to be effective, said Page.

All participants underwent a safety test including a liver and kidney screening. The study authors said there was "marked suppression" of testosterone and of two hormones necessary for a man to produce sperm for those who took 400mg of DMAU, the highest dose.

"We're often asked if there was a contraceptive if men would be interested in using it", Page said.

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