Women across various ethnic, social and religious backgrounds have for long been the larger group shouldering the responsibility of birth control using various methods such as pills, injectables, IUDs and more. However, things might be changing now.
Scientists have made a recent development in the birth control pill for men and may be one step closer to marketing the pill to the public. ABC News reports that a birth-control option for men in the form of a pill called JQ1 reduces sperm production in men. As with birth control used by women, the effects are reversible when the patient is ready to have children.
Baylor College of Medicine researchers said to in a study published in the journal Cell, “We have only observed full recovery of fertility in treated males. We envision that our discoveries can be completely translated to men, providing a novel and efficacious strategy for a male contraceptive.”
Dr. James Bradner of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, whose study appears in the journal told Reuters: “There is no effect on the mouse’s mojo. The animals exhibit the normal sexual behaviors and frequency of copulation. What’s more, the effect is completely reversible. Once doctors stopped giving the drug to mice, they were able to sire healthy litters, with no apparent side effects.”
How it works
JQ1 blocks a protein called BRDT essential for sperm production in the testes.
Dr. James Bradner, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, told Fox News, “(The protein) develops amnesia – it forgets how to make sperm as long as the mice are administered the drug.”
Scientists say the research is exciting because it applies a unique approach to the problem of male contraception, which is now largely comprised of less reliable methods like condom use, or more permanent procedures like vasectomies.
Dr. Joseph Alkukal, director of male reproductive health at New York University’s Langone Medical center said to ABC News, “If you look at vasectomy, there are plenty of men in committed relationships who choose to take onus of reproductive planning on themselves. I think the same sorts of people would choose to look into something like this.”
So, men, are you excited about this development? Would you be interested in taking birth control pills?
Photo Credit: Reuters