How Soon Could a Male Contraceptive Pill Be Available?
Whether you're a man or a mouse, you might soon have a new and very effective means of contraception at your disposal – without the need for surgery.
A group of scientists at the University of Minnesota have developed a non-hormonal male birth control pill that has proven 99 percent successful in mice. Not only have there been no noticeable side effects, the team says, but it's easily reversible – the mice were able to impregnate females within six weeks after being taken off of the pill.
The oral contraceptive contains a compound that prevents proteins from binding to vitamin A. Without that interaction, pregnancy is thought to be impossible. While testing on humans is expected in the near future, it remains to be seen how the pill's success will translate to people. "It’s hard to ask a mouse about moodiness or fatigue or other side effects that may manifest in human studies,” said Jesse Mills, a male reproductive scientist at UCLA who was not involved in the research. “I am eager to see what the human trials show.”
- Interestingly, women tend to use birth control more as they age. According to the CDC, 62 percent of those between 20 and 29 use it, compared with 72 percent of those 30 to 39 and 74 percent of women 40 and older.
- Between 2002 and 2017, the use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) tripled among women ages 15 to 44.
- Worldwide, about 5 percent of married men of reproductive age have undergone vasectomies. That's approximately 50 million men.
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