Male Birth Control Pills Are Even Closer To Becoming A Reality

Taken once a day like its female counterpart, the pill – called dimethandrolone undecanoate or DMAU – lowers levels of testosterone

Researchers who conducted a month-long trial involving 83 men said the once-daily pill lowered hormone levels similarly to other forms of longer-term contraceptives-without signs of testosterone deficiency or excess.

Early clinical trials show that a birth control pill for men may soon be a reality.

"DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily "male pill", says senior investigator on the study Stephanie Page. But if further research shows the side effects are subtle, and patients are aware of the risks, this could be developed for the market.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the new pill, called DMAU, is a combination of hormones - an androgen and progestin - and when taken daily could bring sperm count low enough so a man can't get his partner pregnant. This was a key aspect of the study, as previous attempts have either caused liver damage or left the body too quickly to work as a single-pill treatment.

She added: 'These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill'.

"Longer term studies are now under way to confirm that DMAU taken every day blocks sperm production", a coauthor said in a statement.

The results of the study, carried out with the help of Harbor-UCLA Medical Centre, were presented at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago. The men gained between 3 and 9 pounds, and their HDL or "good" cholesterol levels fell slightly - something that might, over time, raise heart disease risk. However, it was noted that the pill needed to be taken with food in order to work successfully. This led to effective contraception. The next batch of men will be tested for a three-month period. Other forms of contraceptive for men are also in development. It's 99 per cent effective when taken perfectly, Planned Parenthood wrote, but added that it's hard to do this. DMAU "does have the promise of blocking sperm production", Courgi said. Results showed at men who were given 400mg of DMAU showed marked suppression of their testosterone levels. Oral contraceptives are one of the medications most often used by Canadian women. She explained that many men would opt for a once daily pill that provides them with reversible contraception rather than go in for topical gels or long acting injections of DMAU that would provide longer term contraception. According to Dr Ventura, he and his colleagues were "moving closer to developing a convenient, safe and effective, non-hormonal oral male contraceptive that can be readily reversed".

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