Male birth control pill shows promise in early human trials

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Page explained that although the blood levels of the male hormones dipped, there were no symptoms of testosterone deficiency or excess.

Study participants experienced slight decreases in HDL "good" cholesterol and slight weight gain, but these were not a risk for them.

The good news is that there are various reversible male birth control prototypes now undergoing clinical trials. The pill form that DMAU takes, Page said, contains a long-chain fatty acid to make the contraceptive linger longer in the body.

Nonetheless, it may be the best hope yet for a non-permanent male contraceptive, said Stephanie Page of the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The development of a male contraceptive pill has over the years been affected by side-effects on fertility, birth defects and libido.

A new trial study found a pill being tested for men appears to be safe when used daily. "Longer term studies are now underway to confirm that DMAU taken every day blocks sperm production", Page said.

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Progress toward a male birth control pill has been stymied because, according to Page, available oral forms of testosterone may cause liver inflammation, and they clear the body too quickly for once-daily dosing, thus requiring two doses a day.

The results from the new DMAU study will be presented Sunday March 18 at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill. Participants took the pill once a day for 28 days. "Dimethandrolone is different than testosterone in that it binds to both the progesterone receptor and the androgen receptor so we don't need two different steroids in order to have an effective male contraceptive", Paige added.

The drug, yet to be named will block sperms from leaving the penis during ejaculation, researchers at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences have said. DMAU needs to be taken with food to work properly, the researchers noted. DMAU "does have the promise of blocking sperm production", Courgi said.

DMAU could provide a more updated approach to male contraception, similar to the contraception women use. Liver and kidney function also remained normal during the trials, which marked one of the study's most important takeaways. One of the major downsides of this medical innovation - and something which had been an issue before 1960 as well - is that women are often expected to deal with birth control by themselves.

"Many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, rather than long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development", she said.