A male birth control pill could soon become a reality. Researchers have discovered a compound that could lead to the first hormone-free male oral contraceptive.
James Bradner, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and his team have developed a prototype that could enter clinical trial within the next year.
Bradner and his team found that a compound, called JQ1, that temporarily disrupted spermatogenesis in mice. While taking the drug the mice were rendered infertile. When the researchers took the mice off of the drug, the mice were able to develop mature sperm once again and became fertile.
“This compound produces a rapid and reversible decrease in sperm count and motility with profound effects on fertility.”
eScienceNews reports that the compound JQ1 targets the protein BRDT which is essential to sperm production. When the mice start taking JQ1 they start producing less sperm and sperm that are not strong enough to swim.
[The protein] develops amnesia – it forgets how to make sperm as long as the mice are administered the drug.”
The compound has only been used on mice so far but Bradner believes that his team will be able to manipulate the compound to create an effective male birth control pill for humans.
“We envision that our discoveries can be completely translated to men, providing a novel and efficacious strategy for a male contraceptive.”
Are you excited for a male birth control pill?