A new form of contraception, designed specially for men, has been deemed safe by researchers in America.
A new pill is the latest contraception to make ground in the male birth control market, following on from a gel that is currently in clinical trials.
While it’s a big step forward for scientists, it may be some time before doctors are prescribing contraceptive pills to men, as researchers think it could still take another 10 years to finalise the products.
Researchers from the Los Angeles Biomed Research Institute and the University of Washington are, however, confident in the progress of the trials. They are reporting that the drug safely reduces the hormones required for producing sperm, but at the same time it does not diminish sex drive.
So far, there have only really been two methods of pregnancy prevention for men – condoms and vasectomies. Of course, abstinence is also a very effective method to prevent pregnancy, but let’s put that aside for now.
Women, meanwhile, are often faced with an overwhelming array of contraceptive choices, from daily pills to IUDs. None, however, are without side effects, as pills often disrupt a woman’s natural hormone production, and coils can sometimes be painful and uncomfortable.
It’s high-time therefore that, if you’re wishing to avoid pregnancy, the responsibility of birth control can be taken on by either person.
While the breakthrough in male pills is promising, it is the gel – to be rubbed on a man’s back and shoulders – that is the frontrunner of the two products. The gel is currently in clinical trials, which are set to finish in 2022, according to MailOnline.
The pill is making strides however. Known as 11-beta-MNTDC (though I’m sure the pharma companies will come up with a catchier name), the drug is a synthetic form of testosterone that can diminish sperm production in the testes without affecting normal testosterone levels in the rest of the body.
In the trials, 40 adult men (10 of whom had placebos) took either a 200mg or 400mg dose of the drug every day for 28 days.
By the end, no one had quit the drug, though some reported mild side effects like headaches and fatigue. Five men said their libidos were slightly lower, though all the subjects maintained their sex lives as usual.
While the tests are still ongoing, researchers are confident the drug is safe, and hope to develop it over the next few years.
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