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New Male Birth Control Pill

New Male Birth Control Pill

New male birth control compound works to reducing sperm count to infertile levels…

Researchers have discovered a compound, originally meant to cure cancer, that may offer an effective solution for a hormone-free male birth control pill.

So far the study has only been conducted on mice, but results have shown that the small molecule makes the animals ‘reversibly infertile’ without diminishing their sex drive. James Bradner of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the lead author of the study, explained:

“This compound produces a rapid and reversible decrease in sperm count and motility with profound effects on fertility,”

Creating a male birth control pill has been incredible difficult mainly due to the challenge of getting drugs from the blood into the testis where it can have an effect on the sperm generating cells.

jq1 cancer killing compound is effective male brith control

Cancer Killing Compound Could Lead To Development Of A Male Birth Control Pill.

Image Credit: Anna, 2010.

However the compound, known as JQ1, works in different way by targeting a specific protein called BRDT. This protein is essential for fertility, but when it meets the inhibiting JQ1 molecule it causes the testis to produce few sperm, and those that are produced are cannot swim properly.

In lab tests the technique, developed by Bradner Lab, has been shown to be just as effective as female birth control, with no adverse side effects for the mice or their offspring.

Similarly to female birth control, when the new male treatment is stopped, the sperm count rebounds to normal levels.

The next stage will be to develop a pill and start clinical trials of the compound. And although it may be several years before the technique receives FDA approval, the new technique is most the promising to date.

The study was published in the August 17th edition of Cell, a Cell Press publication.


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  1. Finally, the Promise of Male Birth Control in a Pill: Compound Makes Mice Reversibly Infertile. Science Daily, 07/16/2012.

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