‘Safe and 99% effective’: Birth control pill for men may soon become reality

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There are many forms of contraception for women, but only two for men. The lack of “the pill” for men places a burden of responsibility on women, who often have to manage the side effects of contraceptives.

In new research, scientists have developed a male, nonhormonal contraceptive pill that was safe and effective in mice.

Scientists may be inching closer to developing the first nonhormonal contraceptive pill for men after receiving promising results from animal trials. The research presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) spring meeting 2022 lays the ground for clinical trials to see if the contraceptive is effective in human males.

There are many birth control options available to women. However, for some women, these can have side effectsTrusted Source. In contrast, there are two forms of birth control for men: the male condom and vasectomy. Both have few notable side effects and serious complications are rare. Consequently, women tend to bear the burden of responsibility for managing contraception and experience the side effects of using contraceptives.

This burden may be addressed if scientists develop safe and effective male contraceptives. “Despite advances in reproductive healthcare, women are still forced to spend their fertile years shouldering the responsibility of contraception,” a British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) spokesperson told Medical News Today. “Although vasectomies are available, we’ve seen a huge decrease in funding for the procedure across the United Kingdom, with some areas heavily restricting or defunding access for those who want it,” they said.

“For over 100 years now, contraceptive research has focused largely on developing birth control that either stops women from ovulating or makes it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Meanwhile, recent studies on male contraception have fallen by the wayside because the side effects are judged to be too burdensome — despite the prevailing expectation of what women are willing to endure to avoid pregnancy.“ “Coupled with a lack of funding and research interest into methods of contraception for men, the bottom line is that few have seen the benefit — financial or otherwise — in working to provide reliable contraceptives for men,” the spokesperson explained.

Prof. Richard Anderson, Ph.D., Elsie Inglis professor of clinical reproductive science and the deputy director of the Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh Scotland, told MNT that research on nonhormonal male contraceptives had taken place but had not resulted in an effective contraceptive in humans.

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