Most contraceptives are designed for people with uteruses, leaving few pregnancy prevention options for those with testes. Now, scientists are working to create a non-hormonal birth control pill for men, which has proven successful in lab trials. According to the researchers behind the contraceptive, human trials could start by the end of the year.
"Men’s birth control options - and, therefore, responsibilities - could soon be expanding," say researchers at the University of Minnesota. Their new pill blocks proteins from binding to vitamin A, which is known to be crucial to fertility and virility in mammals. The drug was 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy in trials and has no apparent side effects, according to the research recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Depending on the result of human trials, the drug could soon be the first effective form of birth control for those with testes apart from condoms or surgery, Hannah Seo reports for Popular Science.
“Scientists have been trying for decades to develop an effective male oral contraceptive, but there are still no approved pills on the market,” says Md Abdullah al Noman, a chemist at the University of Minnesota who was involved in the pill’s development. And, because this contraceptive is non-hormonal, it’s likely to have fewer side effects.