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Research, testing, and studies have been going on for years, looking for the discovery of a contraceptive pill for men. The time may have come … and completely by accident. A promising new drug, already producing positive results in mice, could be ready for human testing in as little as one year.
The new contraceptive drug was accidentally discovered by James Bradner, who was actually researching an inhibitor molecule he was using to trick cancer cells into believing they were not actually cancer. Low and behold, this pill was able to permeate the difficult blood-testis barrier, the largest problem in developing a male contraceptive pill.
In the studies currently being performed on mice, the pill is capable of lowering sperm count, as well as their swimming speed and abilities. The BRDT-inhibiting molecule effectively made male mice infertile while on the drug, but did not affect their sex-drive. Once off the medication, the mice began producing normal, healthy, viable offspring.
These findings offer a positive outlook in the field of male contraception, one that for a long time has had few options, many being irreversible or uncomfortable. The production of a new oral contraceptive for men could offer couples a new way to temporarily hinder pregnancy until they are ready. It is still not yet known if there are any hormonal affects, or associated health problems as the female form of oral contraception does (i.e. raised blood pressure, hormonal changes, higher risk for stroke and blood clots).
Only time will tell if this new contraceptive method is capable of yielding positive effects as humans are a bit different than mice. However, the results already being shown from the mice trial elude to the possibility that this BRDT-inhibiting molecule is not only safe, but temporarily make males infertile; and once the drug is no longer taken offspring form normally, as if nothing ever happened.Sources: Times of India - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/Male-contraceptive-pill-comes-closer-to-reality/articleshow/15531645.cms WHPT CBS 2 - http://www.whptv.com/news/local/story/Male-birth-control-pill-could-be-ready-for/kuy4OMfsRECCfjj3yXMCbQ.cspx Huffington Post - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/male-birth-control_n_1791953.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular Scientific American - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=cancer-fighting-compound-might-double-as-reversible-male-contraceptive WebMD - http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/news/20120816/progress-toward-male-birth-control-pill