Are there male contraceptive pills? There could be a breakthrough

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

During the development of the male contraceptive pill, there have been problems for a long time for which no solution seemed in sight. However, scientists at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, have apparently made a breakthrough.

The team discovered that the JQ1 molecule reaches the site of sperm development via the blood and can impede it. The process is reversible. So far, this impediment to sperm production has not been successful because the so-called blood-testicle barrier has stopped most of the active ingredients. This was the point at which previous research on the male ‘pill’, which had been limited to hormones, failed.

Various studies to the development of the male pill create a fundamentally new approach that will advance the process of finding one.

The molecule JQ1 inhibits the activity of the protein BRDT, which plays an important role in the development of sperm. Due to this inhibition, fewer sperm are produced, and the few mature specimens are significantly slower. The mice on which the substance was tested became infertile, but were able to father healthy offspring after stopping the medication. Neither testosterone levels nor sexual desire were affected.

Mice are known to be similar to humans but further studies involving men should be conducted. Researchers are confident that the drug will also work, since the key proteins in humans and rodents are very similar.

The male pill has not not yet hit the market, but the new research marks a breakthrough in research in this area.

The only available options for men to avoid unwanted pregnancies are:

  • abstinence
  • vasectomy
  • condoms

Withdrawal of the penis during sex is not a contraception method because sperms can still be released before ejaculation, causing unwanted pregnancies.

Condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy, but you need to make some further precautions while using them.

Other methods are not as nearly effective as condoms because the risky for pregnancy is 1 in 5, according to NHS UK. Of course abstinence is 100% but you will be deprived of sex.

Nevertheless, every new year we see headlines of a new contraception pill for men. However, most of these studies have never moved beyond clinical trials mainly due to the side effects they have on men. Researchers are optimistic that in the future there will be a male pill.



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