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Doctor advising about birth control pills

Source: Peter Dazeley / Getty

News from the scientific world has revealed that tests on a male contraceptive pill have proven to be highly successful in initial trials, paving the way to be tested on humans.

In a recent report expected to be presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, researchers have found that their tests of a non-hormonal contraceptive pill for men produced a high rate of effectiveness. The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota led by Gunda Georg, Ph.D., found that when the pills were given to male mice there was a 99 percent effacacy rate of pregancy prevention in female mice. 

The research was conducted over a four-week period and showed highly reduced sperm counts after targeting a certain protein that is similar to Vitamin A, without any side effects to produce a pill that was given once a day during the testing period. This differs from other clinical trials for oral male contraceptives, which have demonstrated side effects such as weight gain, depression and increased low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol levels because testosterone is the target in those trials.

“Scientists have been trying for decades to develop an effective male oral contraceptive,” said Abdullah Al Noman, a graduate student involved in the study. “We wanted to develop a non-hormonal male contraceptive to avoid these side effects,” he continued. It was found that once the male mice had stopped receiving the YCT529 compound pill, they were able to help father children 4 to 6 weeks after.

Georg stated in the report that they aim to conduct human clinical trials for the YCT529 compound in either the third or fourth quarter of this year. “Because it can be difficult to predict if a compound that looks good in animal studies will also pan out in human trials, we’re currently exploring other compounds, as well,” she said.

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