The responsibility of taking birth control may no longer depend on women. Recently, scientists developed YCT529 drastically reduced sperm count, was 99% effective in preventing pregnancy in mice and didn’t cause observable side effects. The new oral contraception is expected to enter human trials by the end of the year. The scientists will present their findings at the American Chemical Society’s spring meeting. Md Abdullah Al Noman, a graduate student at the University of MN, will present the findings.
The study has been a massive step in developing birth control options for men. Researchers have wanted to find an effective male contraceptive pill since it was first approved in the 1960s. Plus, studies show that men are also interested in sharing the responsibility of birth control. Before, men only had two options – condoms or vasectomies. However, vasectomies are expensive and not 100% successful.
How The Male Contraceptive Pill Works
Scientists had to target the male sex hormone testosterone to develop the pill. Unfortunately, it caused The efforts to develop a male equivalent involved targeting the male sex hormone testosterone. However, it causes severe side effects such as weight gain, depression, and increased cholesterol levels known as low-density lipoprotein, which increases heart disease risks. Some of these side effects are not uncommon for women who take birth control to experience. The female pill has side effects such as blood-clotting, weight gain, etc. Also, about four to six weeks after being taken off the drug, infertility in the mice was reversed; therefore, the mice were able to get their partners pregnant.
The team of scientists received funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Male Contraceptive Initiative. Furthermore, they are working with a company called YourChoice Therapeutics to start human trials. “YCT529 is the furthest ahead of all contraceptive agents for men,” Georg, a medicinal chemist at UM who led the new study, said. “We’re really excited about it, and we were able to license it to a company, YourChoice Therapeutics.” Georg envisions the pills making their way to the market in the next five years or under.